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I live in the United Kingdom. I've noticed that the door to my flat has been repaired badly and underneath you can see that the door was kicked down in the past. The letting agency did not mention this to me. The main door to the building is also always open and cannot be locked.

Should I have been made aware of this prior to renting or is it my responsibility to investigate?

Will I be unable to claim my insurance if my flat is broken into, since I told the insurance company there are two locked doors between the outside world and my belongings (when it's actually one poorly locked door)?

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1.Should I have been made aware of this prior to renting or is this my responsibility to investigate?

There was probably not a legal duty to let you know, and in the absence of a legal duty, caveat emptor applies and it is your responsibility to investigate. Normally there is a duty to disclose defects in the physical condition of the property but not a duty to disclose things that happened at that location in the past.

2.Will I be unable to claim my insurance if my flat is broken into since I told the insurance company there are two locked doors between the outside world and my belongings (when in actual fact it's one poorly locked door)?

You didn't commit insurance fraud when you told them something that you believed in good faith to be true. But, now, having learned that your previous statements to the insurance company were inaccurate, you probably have a duty to correct your inaccurate statements to them within a reasonable time.

Whether or not a statement that is not corrected within a reasonable time would invalidate your insurance when the time came to make a claim would probably depend to a great degree on whether the omitted information was material to the incident that gave rise to the claim.

If a burglar came in through the window, or a fire in your kitchen burned down your flat, your failure to correct your insurance application would probably not bar your insurance claim. But, if a burglar broke through your front door, the insurance company might very well be within its rights to deny your claim on the grounds that you did not correct your insurance application within a reasonable time.

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  • Thanks for the answer. Just a small followup: I mentioned that I have been trying to contact the letting agency to resolve these issues, if something were to happen to my flat before they respond (I have sent multiple emails and will call today), can they be held responsible for any theft or damages due to their negligence? Thanks again for your time ohwilleke.
    – bmo
    Sep 29, 2017 at 10:13
  • To hold them responsible you have to show duty, breach, causation and damages. The hard parts would probably be duty and causation. Just because the building has a door that was designed to be locked doesn't mean that the landlord has a legal duty to have a lockable front door when flats also have lockable front doors. And, you'd have to show that but for their failure to fulfill their duties that the burglar wouldn't have struck despite the fact that he already made it past at least one locked door to get to your flat. Ultimately a judge would have to consider the question and decide.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 29, 2017 at 10:35
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    If you somehow showed the shoddy repairs were enough less secure that the burglar would have been thwarted by a new door you might have something, but clearly the last new door didn't stop whoever.
    – user4460
    Sep 29, 2017 at 16:27

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