Providing the Landlord Insurance you require
With over 40 years of experience in residential and commercial property insurance, Smarter Insurance can offer landlords highly competitive quotes from a wide selection of leading insurers, covering an equally wide range of property types. Whether you rent to professionals or students, to DSS tenants or asylum seekers; whether you own just one buy-to-let flat that you lease to a single tenant, a selection of holiday homes or a string of commercial premises or residential properties – you may even have a mixed portfolio – whatever you have, you need landlord home insurance.
At Smarter Insurance, as the growth of the buy-to-let market continues apace, we know that no two landlords are the same and so we offer bespoke insurance solutions for all landlords, taking into account exactly what your specific situation requires – which means we provide the information you need and we make sure you’re not wasting time and money on insurance you don’t need.
Do you need landlord insurance?
The first thing that you need to know is that landlord insurance is not reserved solely for large lettings businesses. It is quite common for people who are only letting an individual property to mistakenly assume that standard house insurance will provide adequate protection. Unfortunately, this is not the case and you will need to take out a separate, targeted insurance policy to protect you in the case of, to give one example, your tenant sustaining an injury in your property.
At Smarter Insurance, our landlords building insurance policies are designed to be able to protect as wide a range of different properties as possible, including the following:
- residential lettings
- commercial lettings
- mixed portfolios
- property that is unoccupied
- property that is being renovated
- property under short-term ownership
- non-standard property (for example, listed buildings, buildings with thatched roofs, warehouse
- conversions, mills and so on)
- holiday homes
- apartment blocks
- houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
- lots, plots, parcels and tracts of land
What are the benefits of landlord insurance?
All of Smarter Insurance’s household insurance includes standard property and content cover. Landlord insurance also includes the following significant benefits:
• £2m of landlord’s liability, included as standard (higher limits are also available), that will cover all legal costs and any damages that must be awarded in the event of someone sustaining an injury whilst on your property, or on property that is linked to yours
• £5m of employer’s liability (again, £5m is the minimum cover and higher limits are available if necessary) – this is essential if you employ agents to run your property, or even cleaners and janitors to make sure your building is adequately maintained
• cover for damage caused to your property by tenants – this covers both accidental and malicious damage
• damage caused by subsidence, included as standard
• removal of insect nests (wasps, bees, hornets, etc) that can, if left untreated, create substantial damage to your property – comes as standard in all Smarter Insurance landlord insurance policies
Speak to our expert team today
If you’d like to know more about our affordable landlord insurance, give our approachable team a call today on 03334 000610 today, or use our online form to ask for a quote.
Will my insurance provide alternative accommodation to my tenant’s if anything were to happen?
Most insurers will offer to pay to rehouse your tenants after an insured accident such as a fire or flood occurs and makes the building uninhabitable. (It is important to understand which types of accidents are covered as there will be exclusions.) This usually requires ‘alternative accommodation cover’, which will pay for the cost of another place for your tenants to live whilst the repairs are on going.
However you may not need to provide alternative accommodation. You only need this type of insurance if you have specified with your tenants that you will provide alternative accommodation in the instance yours became uninhabitable. This will be written in the tenancy agreement. The usual agreement is just that the tenants do not have to pay rent for the uninhabitable property but will have to find themselves somewhere else to live temporarily.
It is important to check your clause with your tenants and make sure both parties are aware of the procedure.
Homeowners, tenants, holiday homeowners and landlords may want to consider looking into alternative accommodation cover as it is not just for landlords. The cover can be added as an addition to a landlord cover policy or to standard home insurance.
Do I need insurance for the contents of the house?
If you furnish the house you are renting out then you will need contents insurance to cover the furnishings you provide only. All furniture, fixtures and fittings that you supply will need to be covered by your landlord insurance in case of an accident.
However the tenants are responsible for insuring anything that they bring to put into the house. Any items they keep in the house whether it is furniture or valuables will need insuring in case of theft, flood or fire damage.
Most insurers will include cover for floorings, carpets, fittings etc. you can agree an amount often around £5000, depending on the value and size of your house. This can be increased accordingly say if you had your house refurbished.
If there was an insured accident then your insurer will pay out the value of the contents you had covered so that you can afford to get the house to a liveable state again. This will reduce your loss of earnings and hopefully get tenants back into the property again in a shorter amount of time.
Do I need cover for legal expenses?
Being a landlord can come with some serious legal costs so you may want to consider legal expenses cover. This cover can be very useful if any of the following issues unfortunately occur:
- Property protection
- Contract dispute
- Tenant default
- Tax protection
- Eviction of squatters
- Damage to the property
- Rent recovery if unpaid
You can extend your existing landlord insurance policy to cover any of the above. If you did have an issue that involved the need for lawyers or court cases then the costs of these will greatly outweigh the increased insurance premium.
Many landlords will avoid taking cases such as deposit deductions to court because of the financial burden but legal expenses cover can help you get justice and can save you money in the long term.
Will I need cover for any deposits put down on the house by the tenants?
Yes you will, The Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme was put in place to ensure tenants get the appropriate amount of deposit back at the end of their tenancy. They will only receive the full amount if they have met the terms of their tenancy agreement and left the property in good condition with only the expected wear and tear damage.
This scheme was designed by the government to avoid landlords holding deposits unfairly. It also helps in the instance of deposit disputes, which occur quite commonly between landlords and tenants as the money is kept neither by the tenants or the landlord.
Landlords are required to protect their tenants’ deposit within 30 days of receiving the payment but most will choose to put it straight into a protection scheme. Regardless the type of payment, whether it is a bank transfer, cash payment or cheque, you will need to protect the deposit within the legal guidelines.
If you fail to protect deposits put down on your property then you will not be able to end tenancy or regain possession of your house until the deposit is repaid of the court case is finished. Your tenants can also file for compensation if you do not cover their deposits, which could result in you paying out three times as much as the deposit.
Are HMO’s covered by the same landlord insurance policy?
HMO’s are ‘houses in multiple occupation’, which is a house that has more then 2 occupants that are not family members, the most popular types of HMO are student houses.
HMO’s are considered as higher risk properties than other rentals such as single occupancy and as a result of this some insurers will not offer you a quote or charge you expensive premiums. There are complications in terms of sharing facilities and varying rates but as a general principle the cover varies very little from a standard policy.
However some insurers will accept certain types of HMO’s under standard landlord insurance such as student rents but not others such as bedsits. This is dependent solely on the insurance company and their exclusions.
You may wish to speak to a HMO specialist if you are struggling to find a quote or are unsure whether the insurance being offered is appropriate for you and your tenants.