Eight types of insurance landlords need
As discussed in our article regarding the eight mistakes that landlords should avoid, it is vital to make sure that you have the correct landlord insurance because standard home insurance isn't appropriate for rental properties. Matthews have operated as an estate agents in Birmingham for over twenty years and during that time we have heard some horror stories from landlords that hadn't protected themselves with the correct insurance.
Therefore, we hope that this article will give you a thorough breakdown on the different types of insurance that you should consider before beginning a tenancy. And to find the best quotes for these types of insurance, consider using Compare The Market and Money Super Market.
1. Landlord liability insurance
By having landlord liability insurance, a landlord is able to protect against any compensation claims made by a tenant or guest for an injury that occurs at your property, including any legal expenses associated with these claims.
Landlord liability insurance covers injuries that are caused by the building itself, fixtures, fittings and contents. For example, a tenant might trip and fall due to a trailing wire or loose flooring.
2. Landlord buildings insurance
Landlord buildings insurance covers the cost of any rebuild or repair as a result of damage to the structure of the property such as the walls and floors caused by either:
Any of the above could result in the property becoming inhabitable, causing a loss of rental income. For example, a fire caused by an electrical fault could result in damage to the floorboards, support beams, and roof. Alternatively, a tenant may cause accidental damage to the ceiling while moving their belongings to the loft by putting too much weight on the non-boarded floor.
3. Landlord contents insurance
In order to protect your free-standing items from being damaged, lost or stolen, it is essential to take out landlord contents insurance. This includes but is not limited to:
Standalone Kitchen appliances
However, bare in mind that this type of insurance doesn't tend to cover items that insurers consider fixtures or fittings such as carpets. This will vary depending on your insurer so be sure to read your policy thoroughly. It is also important to note that landlord contents insurance doesn't cover the usual wear and tear that takes place during the tenancy.
4. Loss of rent insurance This type of insurance is required if a property becomes inhabitable following an insured circumstance such as a fire, flood, malicious damage etc. During any void period while the necessary rebuild and repairs are taking place, this type of insurance aims to compensate landlords for the rental income they ordinarily would have lost, since the current tenants are no longer able to live in the property.
5. Tenant Default Insurance
This type of insurance aims to protect landlords In the unfortunate event that a tenant fails to pay the rent for two consecutive months and may pay up to eight months' rent. This could occur if, for example, a tenant is made redundant and consequently is no longer able to pay the rent.
However, in order to make a claim a landlord must:
ensure they have performed credit, affordability and referencing checks before the tenancy begins
serve an eviction notice
Tenant default insurance can also serve a second purpose. If after serving a tenant with an eviction notice they decide to retaliate by causing damage to the property, a landlord may be able to claim a percentage of the monthly rental income.
6. Accidental Damage Insurance
This type of insurance is required in order to protect the landlord's property and contents from one-off incidents. For example, a tenant may permanently stain the carpet due to an accidental spillage or cause damage to a wall while trying to secure their own fittings.
Some landlords may decide against taking out this type of insurance with the view that any accidental damage caused by a tenant can be deducted from their deposit. However, it is important to bare in mind that the landlord won't be able to access the deposit until the tenants have left the property and the deposit protection scheme approves of the deduction. Also worth noting is that the total deposit might not be enough to cover the costs of a repair or replacement.
7. Alternative Accommodation Insurance
With the introduction of the Homes Act in 2019, rented accommodation must be fit for human habitation. Otherwise, landlords face being taken to court where they could be forced to pay compensation to the tenant.
For a property to be inhabitable, there may be structural damage that means it is unsafe to live in or a tenant may be without:
If the tenancy agreement states that the landlord will provide alternative accommodation in the event that the property does become inhabitable, alternative accommodation insurance will protect the landlord if this is the result of an insured event such as a fire or flood.
Alternatively, if the landlord isn't required to provide alternative accommodation, and the property becomes inhabitable and therefore vacant, the loss of rent insurance discussed earlier will help landlords to claim any loss of income.
8. Landlord Emergency Insurance
This type of insurance is designed to protect the landlord against the costs of out-of-hours callouts and any resulting repairs that occur due to:
plumbing and heating problems
water and electricity supply failure
a leaking roof
damage to the doors or windows that impacts security
These types of repairs require immediate attention to prevent any further damage and minimise the impact it may have on the tenants. However, this can be difficult if the landlord doesn't live in the area. That's where an estate agents in Birmingham such as Matthews could prove very useful. At Matthews, we offer property management services meaning our landlords have access to reputable companies from a variety of trades that will be able to assist with any emergency. Therefore, whenever there is an emergency, Matthews will handle what would normally be a very stressful situation for you and keep your tenants happy.
As well as access to reputable companies from a variety of trades, that are many more reasons why you should use an estate agents in Birmingham such as Matthews to manage your property. In fact, Matthews are offering six months free property management to all new landlords. Click here to find out more.
If this is something you might be interested in, as well as our sales and lettings services, contact Matthews Estate Agents using the contact details below to find out more about us and what we can offer you.
Tel: 0121 358 0008 (Lines open Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:30)