Landlord insurance obligations
As a landlord, you should ensure that the rental property and its contents are comprehensively insured to include 3rd party liability, occupier risks and public liability, as well as cover furnished lettings if applicable. Your tenant should be given a copy of your insurance schedule for buildings and contents, as this will form part of your tenancy agreement.
Failure to inform your insurance company that the property is let out could render the policy void. It is the tenant’s responsibility to arrange and ensure their own personal belongings.
Just because you let your property unfurnished, it doesn’t mean that it’s empty; as a landlord, you could be exposed to more risks than you realise.
Standard landlord’s contents insurance for unfurnished properties should cover:
- Your carpets, curtains, blinds, light fittings and your kitchen appliances and goods
- Protection for you and your tenants with property owner’s liability so that if your tenant injures themselves in your property and you are found to be negligent, you could save yourself a hefty bill for damages
- Loss of rent or re-letting costs if something really serious happens and your tenant needs to move out
- Replacing locks if the keys have been stolen
- Premiums could be tax-deductible!
Public Liability Insurance
Public liability covers the landlord for claims against them by anyone coming into contact with the property. This may be the tenant, visitors, contractors, officials or even trespassers! Eg: If a tenant tripped on a loose carpet, fell down the stairs, broke their leg and was unable to work, they could make a claim against the landlord for damages. This could be a substantial sum, but with public liability insurance cover, you will not have to worry.
Please note that it is essential for property owners to advise their insurance company of changes in circumstances, which includes when the property is being rented out.
Failure to inform will likely mean that the insurance is void.