Riot damage latest

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Here are some important tips on how business and home owners can claim for damage:

If you are insured, you should obtain a crime number from the police and contact your insurers immediately. You need to look at the wording of your own insurance policies but the Association of British Insurers (ABI)website has provided some useful guidance for businesses and individuals who have suffered losses.

Even if you are not insured, you may be able to claim compensation from your local police authority under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886.

What you can claim against the local police authority for:

• damage, destruction or theft to houses, shops and other buildings or their contents

What you cannot claim against the local police authority for:

• personal injury
• your vehicle being damaged or stolen during the riot (unless the vehicle was inside a building affected by riots)
• trading at your business being affected by the riots

You have 42 days from the date of the damage to make your claim. A riot damage claim form can be downloaded from the government website and when completed must be sent to

PO Box 26948
G2 9DP

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, has announced that seriously damaged business properties will be taken off valuation lists thereby removing any liability for council tax or business rates.

The government also says it is working closely with the British Bankers Association to ensure that affected businesses of all sizes, but especially small businesses, receive financial help from banks. It says that the banks “will sympathetically and sensitively consider the problems of each business.” Additional financial support will be available should it be required to provide solutions for the affected businesses. These include for example, where necessary making available short to medium term finance arrangements for repairs and to replace stock, and repayment holidays until insurance claims are settled.

ACAS have issued advice on good practice regarding management of employees in these circumstances. This includes advice and information about the legal position for employees and employers especially where there is disruption to normal working hours

For more information go to the BIS and Metropolitan Police Service websites or contact our Litigation or Commercial Property departments.

This article should not be taken as a full statement of the law. It should be regarded purely as guidance and is no substitute for professional advice. No responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting can be accepted by Wiseman Lee LLP. © Wiseman Lee LLP 2011.

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