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Landlords: check your insurance cover

Apparently rents are going down. According to a recent report, this is particularly the case in London, which has been such a hot spot for rentals over the last few years. But it’s also been reported that many London landlords are now turning their attention to other parts of the country rather than expanding their portfolio in the capital. The rental boom, triggered by high house prices, seems set to continue.

But not all landlords have a large portfolio of properties. Many have entered the buy-to-let market with just one property, maybe counting on its rising value as part of their planning for retirement, or renting out their UK property if they are working abroad.

One of the most important things to ensure if you do become a landlord is that you have the right insurance: conventional household insurance is not appropriate. You need specific landlords insurance which is offered by both mainstream insurers and by specialists.

We’ve written about this before but a recent article by This is Money made some very interesting points which we thought we should share:

  • A huge proportion of landlord insurance claims are for water damage – burst pipes or leaking appliances, for example. Some insurance providers impose much higher excesses on this type of claim, so check exactly what you would have to pay if this happened.
  • It seems that there has been a rise in recent years in eviction numbers, and the cost of removing tenants can run into thousands of pounds. It’s vital to ensure this expense is covered by your landlords insurance.
  • We wrote recently about the need for any business to be covered for malicious damage, including landlords. But something landlords should be very aware of is whether your insurer stipulates the type of tenant they will cover. Some will only offer cover for professional people who are in work and not, for example, students or housing benefit recipients.

In short, landlord’s insurance is far more complicated than conventional household insurance. And even if you have the correct insurance, making a claim can be a highly-fraught and difficult process. We’ve worked with many landlords who have faced enormous challenges and have brought their claims to successful conclusions. You can read about these here.

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