Renting out a property will never be a truly risk-free activity. After all, you can never really know your tenants and sometimes the ‘good on paper’ renters can stop paying on time, cause careless damage or the property itself can be targeted by thieves or vandals looking to make some quick cash. There are undoubtedly a lot of hazards when it comes to private renting but it shouldn’t put you off from doing it completely. Some forward planning and the right cover can help to lessen the stress associated with renting out property.
Why landlord insurance?
Cover for landlords is different from other types of buildings, home, and contents insurance – without it, your property may not be covered at all. Types of landlord insurance can vary a lot but at its core, a landlord policy will offer liability cover, legal protection if tenants become injured, employer’s liability and even loss of rent. Besides those points, landlord insurance can offer a host of further protections but will involve you shopping around and tailoring the policy to suit your individual property needs.
If you’re a first-time landlord, it may be better to go for as comprehensive a policy as you can afford, covering all possible bases, until you get the hang of things and become more familiar with the processes. It’s a great way to reduce stress associated with renting property for the first time, allowing you a little more time and breathing room to get to grips with being a landlord, managing tenants, and dealing with estate agents. You can always switch policies once you feel more secure with it all.
For example, you may think that it’s not your job to provide cover for your tenants’ possessions, especially if you rent the property half or unfurnished, but if the building catches fire and causes extensive damage, you may be liable to pay. You can look for a landlord insurance policy that’s inclusive of contents cover or insist on any future tenants agreeing to take out contents cover by themselves. Whilst this may limit your pool of tenants slightly, it will also ensure that anyone you do rent to cares about the state of the property and their own possessions.
Look out for policies that are inclusive of emergency cover as they can come in very handy when an emergency, like a burst pipe, occurs in the middle of the night. Emergency cover will cover the cost of arranging emergency repairs as soon as possible, 24 hours a day, with the help of fully qualified tradespeople. These policies will typically cover labour, materials, and call out charges up to a sum of £500 per claim.
If you’re only starting to research landlord insurance, then this may be a lot on information but try not to panic. Landlord insurance is here to protect you and your property, so be sure to search around for deals and different types of cover, until you find one that’s most suitable to your situation. The same insurer will typically offer different types of cover that you can combine into one comprehensive policy. Don’t automatically go for the cheapest deal you can find as it can let you down if things go wrong.