Anyone who owns property needs to have that property insured. This is a requirement when obtaining a mortgage, so most homeowners will have home insurance covering the building itself and usually its contents. However, if you’re thinking of letting your home or are buying another property in order to let it out, you’ll need to take out landlord insurance.
Ordinary home insurance is designed to cover you against damage to a property that you live in as your permanent home. If you own a property and are letting it out to tenants, that is a different matter. You will need another product designed specifically for those risks.
What if I’m letting out my existing home?
Even if you’re letting out a property that has been covered by your home insurance, you will need to replace that with landlord insurance. This applies even if you’re letting a property to family members.
If money is changing hands in lieu of rent, you are legally a landlord and must have the right kind of insurance. It doesn’t matter how informal the arrangement is, although it’s recommended that you always have a written tenancy agreement, even if you’re renting to your family. If anything goes wrong and you only have standard home insurance, your insurer may not pay out.
A landlord’s responsibilities
As a landlord, you have other obligations besides putting a roof over your tenant’s heads. You must also make sure the property is safe and meets fire regulations, as well as ensuring all gas and electrical appliances are regularly checked and have proper certification.
In turn, you are reliant upon your tenants paying their rent on time. As a result, any dispute with them can prove extremely costly. For this reason, there are additional policies that can be bought with landlord insurance – but these are not available with home insurance.
The most notable are rent guarantee and loss of rent cover. The first will pay your rent while you’re in the process of evicting a non-paying tenant. The second can cover you if circumstances mean the property cannot be rented out, for instance, while repairs are undertaken. Landlord legal expenses cover can also help you manage the costs of taking a tenant to court or the cost of being sued by a tenant or third person. Different levels of liability cover are also available, covering you against legal action from anyone injured on or outside your property.
You may also want to take out home emergency cover for fast, 24-hour access to essential repairs in the event of a boiler breakdown, flood or other crisis in the property.
If you’re buying to rent or letting out your own home, make sure you have the right kind of insurance. If there is a problem it could cost you a great deal of money if your cover is inadequate.
If you have questions about the type of insurance cover you require, give us a call on 01603 216399. Our friendly, expert advisers will be happy to help.