Waiting on EQC repairs

Question from Katrina updated on 16th April 2014:

Hi, we have a block of flats that have earthquake damage and we are waiting for the insurance company to repair them. They have not been let since February 2011. We are still paying rates and insurance. We are receiving interest on payments from the EQC, which is invested waiting for the repairs to start. Can we claim these expenses while we are unable to let the flats?

Our expert Leanne MacKenzie responded:

Rates and insurance etc are expenses which go hand in hand with owning a property. Since they are not incurred as a direct result of the earthquake damage, they will not form part of an insurance claim. They are also classed as a “consequential loss”, which domestic house policies generally do not provide cover for. However they can continue to be claimed as an expense against the property for taxation purposes. It may be worth approaching your local council to ask if they are providing any rate relief or a rebate on rates. Some insurers are also offering discounts on policies where the house is waiting for earthquake damage to be repaired.

Leanne MacKenzie has over 25 years experience in the New Zealand personal property insurance industry. As personal lines manager for Crombie Lockwood she has been instrumental in introducing the important changes that have been made in the sector over the last 12 months. “Every property owner owes it to themselves, as a landlord and a homeowner, to understand the new regime.” Leanne is based in the company’s national office in Auckland.

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