- What is landlords' insurance?
Landlord insurance provides cover for potential risks a Landlord would face when renting out a property which is different to a standard household policy.
- What does it cover?
Cover should include property owner’s liability in the event that a tenant or their visitor is injured at your property and claims against you. It should also cover the cost of rehousing or lost rental income should the home be inhabitable due to and insured event, ie, fire or flood. In addition it can also include contents cover for any furniture, equipment in the property that belongs to the Landlord. Legal Expenses cover should also be included.
- Where can I get advice on being a Landlord?
Advice in all areas of being a Landlord can be obtained from the National Landlords Association who can be contacted on 020 7840 8900 or visit www.landlords.org.uk
- As a Landlord how do I reduce the risk of problem tenants?
It would be advisable to reference your tenants also putting a tenancy agreement in place. It is also a good idea to inspect your property regularly, giving your tenants plenty of notice. This is a good way to ensure your property is being treated well and also identify any problem areas as soon as possible. Having adequate insurance in place designed specifically for Landlords helping you with costs for damage caused by your tenants to your property.
- Why should I have a Tenancy Agreement and how do I set one up?
A Tenancy Agreement secures your position as a Landlord and is a Legal Document. Putting everything in writing ensures that both you and the Tenants know their rights and responsibilities. This document would contain type of tenancy, length of tenancy, and amount of rent to be paid, who is responsible for upkeep and repairs to the property and how to end the tenancy.
A Tenancy Agreement can be set up via a solicitor or letting agent, however, these can also be obtained from any Landlords Association.
- What is the difference between Landlord Insurance and Home Insurance?
Landlord Insurance is designed to cover rental properties, normal house insurance would not provide the adequate cover needed for a buy-to-let property. Usually House insurance does not allow a property to be empty for longer than 30 days, whereas, under a Landlords policy cover is more flexible for an unoccupied period and properties undergoing refurbishment, allowing for changeover between different tenancies. Landlords Insurance also will provide cover for Loss of Rent, Malicious Damage, Property Owners Liability.
- Will it cover me if tenants don't pay their rent?
Not as standard. Rental guarantee cover is a separate policy.
- As a Landlord what do I actually have to do?
As a Landlord you may prefer a Letting Agent to take care of things, alternatively you may want to look after the Properties yourself. Either way you will be expected to provide the following:
Gas Safety Certificate – If you provide any gas appliances in the property you must ensure that an annual gas safety checks are carried out by an engineer on the Gas Safety Register and provide the tenant with a copy of the inspection certificate
Electrical Inspection – If your property is an HMO of any kind you must have electrical safety checks carried out every five years. It is the Landlords responsibility to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances provided by the Landlord are safe when the tenancy begins and are in proper working order throughout the tenancy.
- What do I do if I need to make a claim?
The best thing to do in the event of making a claim is contact us at Landlord Insurance Services on 01483 280118 and we will be able to provide guidance depending on the type of claim you may have. In the event of repairs needing to be carried out it is usual for two estimates of repair are submitted at the time together with photographs. In an emergency situation you must do as necessary to secure the property or stop a water leak.
- Who is a Loss Adjustor ?
A Loss Adjustor is somebody who is appointed by your Insurers in the event of a claim being logged. They are independent agent who assesses the amount of settlement awarded following a claim to assist insurers in making a fair settlement.
- What is Trace & Access Cover ?
Quite often it is hard to source where the leak is coming from if pipework is under floorboards or within walls. Trace and Access cover is insurance cover of the costs to detect the source of a leak. Most Insurance policies cover the cost of repairs water damage has caused but without the cover of Trace and Access this could leave you footing the bill for finding and repairing the source.
- Am I covered for Loss of Rent if a claim occurs whilst in between tenants and unoccupied. ?
This is not usual as Loss of Rent cover only applies when an insured peril has occurred making the property inhabitable whilst there was a tenancy agreement in place.
- Would I be covered for Malicious Damage caused by Tenants?
Yes our policies will usually cover you for damage caused at your property by tenants, reference checks would have to have been carried out on the tenants
- I own and am letting a leasehold flat, the freeholder insures the building but are there any additional covers that I would require?
You would still have an obligation to look after the welfare of your tenant. We recommend you have Property Owners Liability and also Loss of Rent cover as this may not be covered by your freeholder, however you should check what your Lease Agreement says.
- If I own a flat are my fixtures and fittings covered within my policy or do I need separate Insurance?
Fixed glass, sanitary ware, kitchen units should covered within the buildings insurance, however, your freeholders insurance may not extend to cover the fixtures and fitting within your flat, you should refer to the terms of your lease.
- What is the Declared Rebuild Value ?
This sum is the total cost of reinstating the property. The Declared Rebuild Cost has nothing to do with the market value of the property. If you have just purchased the property a surveyor should have provided you with a recommended rebuilding or reinstatement cost, the required figure is often contained within a mortgage valuation report. If the sum insured is too low then you risk an insurance shortfall, so should be checked to be sure in the event of a total loss there is adequate cover.
- How do I find the Declared Rebuild Value of my property?
Usually when your property is purchased your mortgage company would have a surveyor carry out a valuation and the Rebuild figure would be shown on this report. If this is not the case you can seek Guidance from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors by using their calculator by clicking here.
- What if I have Declared the wrong Rebuild Value ?
It is very important that you provide the correct Rebuild Value, if the figure is too low in the event of a loss, under-insurance would mean that in the event of a claim insurers would apply the Condition of Average, and any claim payment would only be for a proportion of the actual loss.
For example: If you insure your Buildings for £50,000 but true reinstatement value is actually £100,000, you are only insuring for 50% of their actual reinstatement cost. This in turn would mean insurers will only pay 50% of the loss. Under-insurance is therefore a serious issue.
- What is Day One Uplift ?
You provide the reinstatement value of the property on the first day of insurance (known as the Declared Rebuilding Value) and the insurer agrees to increase their limit of liability by an agreed percentage (known as Uplift). The uplifted figure is known as the Sum Insured. This is to protection against rising building costs during the insurance period.
- What is an Index Linked Policy ?
Costs to rebuild your property would increase year by year, an Index Linked Policy updates the Sum Insured to reflect the changing costs of rebuilding. However, obtaining a survey from time to time would be advisable to ensure you have adequate cover in the event of a total loss.
When I am buying a property when should I insure my property, on Exchange or Completion ? As soon as you exchange on a property you have an interest in that property and can insure it from then.
- What is Rent Guarantee Policy ?
Should a tenant default on their monthly payments for whatever reason a Rent Guarantee Policy covers you. This comes with Legal Expenses which covers for any legal costs incurred in your recovery for unpaid rent and evicting tenants.
- What tenant types are accepted for the Rent Guarantee Policy offered ?
All types of tenants are eligible as long as the appropriate referencing has been carried out. A credit check is required and a tenancy agreement must be in place.
- When a tenant defaults on payments do I receive payment from a Rent Guarantee policy immediately?
A full month’s rent must be in arrears and rent will only be payable during the period of the tenancy agreement or until vacant possession has been gained, whichever happens first.
- Is there an Excess on a Rent Guarantee policy ?
The excess will usually be the equivalent of the first months rent.
- If my property is an HMO how many Rent Guarantee policies do I need?
We can provide cover for HMOs, there will be one policy issued for the property and this will be rated on the number of individual tenancy agreements
- What is the amount payable under the Rent Guarantee Policy ?
The amount payable would be the monthly rent shown in the tenancy agreement up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The maximum rent payable per claim is £10,000 or the equivalent of six months rent, whichever is the lesser amount
- If I need to pursue the tenant or incur costs for eviction, am I covered under a Rent Guarantee Policy?
Legal Expenses cover is included under and this will provide for Legal Costs Incurred in pursuit of recovery or eviction. There would be no excess under this section.
- Why would I need Landlord Home Emergency Cover ?
As a Landlord having this cover provides not only peace of mind for yourself but peace of mind for your tenants: In the event of an emergency they can contact somebody to help.
- Would the Home Emergency cover my Boiler ?
A call out for failure of your primary heating system would be covered provided the Boiler is not older than 15 years. The policy is not a maintenance policy.
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