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What you need to know
What is residential landlord insurance?
Landlord Buildings Insurance
Landlord Liability Insurance & Employer’s Liability Insurance
Landlord Contents Insurance
Accidental Damage Insurance For Landlords
Landlord Emergency Cover
Loss of Rent Insurance
Rent Guarantee Insurance
Legal Expenses Insurance
Unoccupied Property Insurance
On the market
Keeping your property safe
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
Right to Rent Checks
References
Tenancy Agreements

Residential insurance differs to a home insurance policy as it covers and helps prevent loss from tenants.

Residential landlords insurance keeps your rental property covered, ranging from contents insurance to alternative accommodation.

It covers what regular home insurance won’t cover, such as against fire, flood and some against vandalism, it can also cover loss of rent due to these.

It also covers landlord liability, such  as injury to your tenants as well as damage to your property.

 

 

Make sure that your policy will cover the cost of rebuilding or repairing your property following events including:

  • Storm, floods, lightning or earthquakes
  • Subsidence
  • Damage to water, drainage or heating installations
  • Collision by vehicles, machinery or animals
  • Falling trees or branches
  • Vandalism or other malicious acts

Most insurers will need to know the sum insured of the property – this is the cost of rebuilding, not the market value.  There are numerous online calculators which can help you assess the rebuild value of your property including The Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) calculator which can be found at: https://calculator.bcis.co.uk

In the unfortunate event of the death or injury to any individuals on your property, Landlord Liability insurance is essential for Landlords.  Depending on the cover provided on your policy, it could also protect you against tenants who try to sue you after an accident at the property.

If you employ someone, whether on a casual or permanent basis (e.g. cleaner, gardener etc.) you should consider Employers Liability Insurance.

If you are renting out your property in a furnished state, you need to consider taking our Landlord Contents Insurance for any furniture, wall decorations, electrical items and ornaments.  Tenant’s possessions don’t need to be covered as that is their responsibility.  

Your Buildings Insurance policy may cover you for unfurnished tenancy in respect of any appliances/white goods, curtains, blinds, carpets etc.

Buildings and Contents Insurance policies can sometimes include Accidental Damage.  If it not included on your policy, it can often be included as an add-on.

Similar to standard home emergency cover, Landlord Emergency Cover could be useful in the event of burst pipes, broken down boiler, broken glass or lost keys.  This type of cover is popular with landlords who do not employ a letting agency to oversee their tenancies.

Often included in Buildings Contents policies, loss of rent insurance can cover the loss of rental income if your rental property is made uninhabitable and your tenants are forced to move out.  If this is not included in your policy, it may be available as an add-on.

Rent Guarantee Insurance is different to Loss of Rent Insurance as it can provide cover in the event of a tenant defaulting on their rental payments.

In the event of disputes with tenants, repossession and other costs incurred by taking legal action against tenants or in respect of criminal action, Legal Expenses Insurance can help Landlords.  

As a general rule, if a property is unoccupied for 30 consecutive days, then an insurance policy may become invalid as it is seen as more of a risk.  If your property is between tenants or unavailable to let due to renovations/redecoration, then Unoccupied Property Insurance can cover your property.

At 1st Choice Insurance, we’ve compiled an easy checklist for Landlords to ensure that you have covered all aspects, from legal obligations to keeping the property in a good state of repair.

Whether you are a first time Landlord or an experienced portfolio manager, your first decision needs to be whether you will market your property yourself or use a letting agent.  Either way, you need good advertising to get the word out.  Use an ad that is web-friendly with good photographs and a snappy description.  Before you take photographs, make sure you’ve given the property a thorough clean and tidy, as it will be more appealing to prospective tenants and they can more easily visualise themselves in the property.

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations require your landlord to:
– Maintain pipework, appliances and flues provided for your use in a safe condition.
– Carry out a 12 monthly gas safety check on each gas appliance/flue.  A gas safety check will make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.
– Provide you with a record of the annual gas safety check within 28 days of the check being completed or if you’re a new tenant before you move in. If a property or room is hired out for less than 28 days at a time, it is also permissible for your landlord to display a copy of the current Landlords Gas Safety Record in a prominent position within the property.

Additionally, following recent changes to legislation, landlords are now required to install a smoke alarm on every floor where there is a room being used for living space as well as a carbon monoxide detector in every room where there is a solid fuel-burning appliance.

Since 2008 the Government have introduced the requirement for landlords to supply an Energy Performance Certificate for their property from the day the tenant moves in.  Additionally, all adverts must now include the property’s EPC rating to display the energy efficiency of the property.

With effect from 1st February 2016, landlords will be required to check whether prospective tenants have the legal right to rent in the United Kingdom as part of the Right to Rent Scheme.  Landlords will be required to check a prospective tenant’s immigration status themselves or via a letting agent, with a hefty £3,000 fine per tenant if they are not carried out.

It is really important for landlords to obtain references from prospective tenants in order that they can make an informed decision about who they let their property to.  References should normally include the tenant’s full name, date of birth, employment details, previous addresses, bank statements as well as references from previous and current landlords.  You should always follow up references to ensure that they are real!

Ensure that a tenancy agreement is drawn up between the landlord and the tenant.  This is an official contract, the most common type being an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST).  A tenancy agreement should include the details of the landlord and tenant, the property address, tenancy dates and duration, rental income and notice periods from either party.

A tenancy agreement can also include an inventory, which can be checked prior to a new tenancy and upon vacation from the property of an existing tenant.  It is also a good idea to include dated photographs with an inventory list to ensure that all items are accounted for and in a reasonable condition.  This is particularly useful when letting a furnished or part-furnished property.

Landlords are also required, by law, to put tenant’s deposits into a Government-backed tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receipt.  The Government recommend their approved schemes: Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.   The aim of the scheme is to ensure that tenants receive their deposit back at the end of their tenancy period, subject to the tenants meeting the terms of their rental agreement and leaving the property in a good condition.

Whatever your requirements, 1st Choice Insurance is here to help.  Call our friendly, experienced team on 0800 078 7002 for a no obligation quotation or use our online enquiry form.

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