Home makeovers cost neighbours £1.5bn

6th February 2015


Property renovations don’t just cost homeowners, 3.7 million neighbours have been out of pocket too in the past five years.


Research by insurer Direct Line shows 3.7 million people have suffered property damage due to neighbour renovations in the past five years. Over the same period, the bill for damages totalled more than £1.5 billion but only a third of neighbours accepted responsibility while 30% blamed someone else.


One in six of those whose property was damaged did not confront their neighbours about damage, despite the average cost of repair being £533. One in 12 saw the cost of damage exceed £1,000.


For those who had to pay to repair a neighbour’s damage to their home, 53% shared at least half the cost of repairs and one in seven paid 80% towards the damage. However, a fifth paid nothing towards damage done by their home makeovers.


Nick Brabham, head of select premier insurance at Direct Line, said: ‘In the UK we take pride in our homes, with many seeing extending and renovating their homes as a way to improve their living standards. As such it is not surprising that in the 12 months to September last year we saw more than 55,000 residential planning applications made in England with more than three-quarters of them accepted.


‘If you or your neighbours are thinking about starting a home makeover project it is worth assessing and discussing the risk of damage to adjacent properties with neighbours. It is also crucial to check whether your home insurance policy covers damage caused by neighbour renovations, otherwise you could be left with a hefty repair bill.’


Top 10 most common types of property damage:


Damage to fencing                        43%

Damage to windows                        25%

Damage to garden features            25%

Damage to gates                         24%

Damage to roofs                        22%

Damage to plumbing                        22%

Damage to contents                         21%

Damage to plants                        20%

Damage to exterior walls            19%

Damage to driveway                        17%


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