If you’re a landlord, especially a first-timer, it’s easy to assume that a standard Home Insurance policy will also cover any properties that you rent out, but this isn’t the case.
With properties that are let, both landlords and tenants have certain rights and responsibilities, not least financial and legal commitments, and insurers therefore need to include different insurance policy elements than for someone who wants to insure a home they live in.
Landlords face different insurance needs
In addition to the standard features you’d expect to see in most home insurance policy, such as buildings insurance, here are the additional key aspects of landlords insurance which you should look out for in any landlord cover you consider taking out:
Public and property owners’ liability cover – Landlord’s need cover in case a tenant of a property is injured or harmed while at home and it’s decided that the cause was due to something going wrong with the property itself; an electrical fault, a wall collapsing or a gas explosion, for example.
Legal cover – This is often included in many standard landlord insurance policies as there is always a chance a landlord will become embroiled in a legal dispute with a tenant. Legal fees can be expensive and legal cover ensures you won’t have to pay them yourself.
Loss of rent – For most landlords, loss of rent is a key element of cover, especially if you have a buy-let-mortgage on the property and want to ensure your repayments are met if a tenant withholds rent payment or simply can’t pay for any reason.
Alternative accommodation – If your rental flat floods, has a flea infestation or is made uninhabitable in some other way, it can be your responsibility to find tenants alternative accommodation until the problem is fixed. This could be costly, and you’ll want to ensure you’re covered.
Glass replacement – Tenants often fail to treat a rental property as they might if they were the owners. Windows, glass doors and other glass features are damaged more often than with owner-occupied homes, and they can be expensive to replace.
Lock replacement – Insurers assume that tenants are going to be more careless with keys than you might be yourself. If keys are lost or stolen, it may be stipulated in a lease agreement that locks will be replaced and new keys issued. Additionally, if you get into a dispute with a tenant that turns nasty, you may want to replace the locks if the tenant leaves the property.
Landlord contents – You probably won’t want to pay for the insuring the items a tenant brings into a property, but will want to ensure your own contents are covered. You will probably own fixtures and fittings in your property such as curtains and carpets, as well as white goods including fridges and cookers and landlords insurance covers them if they’re stolen or damaged.
Act as soon as you’ve decided to rent out a property
Once you’ve decided to rent out a property, you should take out landlords insurance.
If it’s your own home that you’re moving out of and renting, you need to gain the approval of your insurer. The insurer will want to change the terms of your current home insurance and ensure you take out landlords insurance to reflect the change in the status of your property’s use.
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