Landlords’ claims can be difficult – even with the right insurance

October 10, 2014 6:36 am

The property rental market is huge these days. With such high rents being charged, more and more people are tempted into becoming landlords. But we know from experience that it can be very stressful if something goes wrong.

Recent figures from the National Landlords Association show that almost 10 per cent of landlords had to make an insurance claim in the last year. They advise landlords to have the right insurance in place: they shouldn’t just rely on a conventional home insurance policy.

But, even then, a claim can be very difficult. We have worked on behalf of many landlords when they’ve needed to make an insurance claim and, although they had appropriate cover, they still faced significant challenges. Two recent examples illustrate just how difficult it can be.

The first involved a couple who had re-located to the US and rented out their home in West Sussex. When fire swept through it, their insurer refused to accept liability primarily because it decided the couple hadn’t met statutory requirements over electrical equipment. But the couple knew they had – and fighting this from a distance was just impossible for them. We took the case over and won the couple their rightful settlement. The case was so extraordinary that it was covered in The Observer.

The second example involved a couple in Surrey who had let out a relative’s house after she had died. This was also hit by fire and they faced a significant insurance claim for both the damage and for loss of rental. And then the tenants started to make unreasonable claims as well. The couple felt it was just too much for them to handle. So they brought us in to take it over – and we successfully negotiated a full settlement for the buildings claim, landlord’s contents and lost income, as well as ensuring the tenants’ spurious demands were not met. You can read more about this here.

So, despite the difficulties, both of these cases had happy endings.