Unofficial residents face steep risks

Robyn Hall

March 7, 2013

The remaining 3.5 million residents live with someone who owns the home but have not registered themselves as a resident.

Jenny Trueman, home insurance manager at Direct Line, said: “There are many reasons why someone may have not updated all their details but the most common cause is moving home which can be stressful and extremely time consuming.”

Trueman said it was one of those administrative tasks that is frequently put off or forgotten but one which has consequences far more severe than a few lost letters.

She said: “People risk being fined by the DVLA, losing highly sensitive financial information from their bank and invalidating their home insurance.”

When asked how long they had been living unofficially in someone else’s home 31% of “unofficial residents” cited more than eight years.

Direct Line asked those who admitted being registered at the wrong home address which details they were still using; the most popular response as stated by 44% was their parent’s address.

Predictably this was slightly higher for those aged 18-34 years, at 54%.

However, 38% of those aged 35-54 still used their parent’s address for key registrations.

Trueman added: “Our research highlights that an alarming number of people in the UK are living in other people’s homes in an unofficial capacity. On the one hand it’s very generous of the registered residents to allow these people to live with them but it’s important to understand the implications of these arrangements particularly in terms of home insurance as their possessions may not be covered and the validity of the policy itself may also be affected.”

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