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Landlord Insurance for Let Properties

This is a most important area that should not be overlooked when Landlords let a property. The risks associated with let properties are significantly different to owner occupied properties therefore you are well advised to use an insurer who specialises in this type of property insurance. An existing, standard, buildings or contents insurance policy on a property owner occupied may not cover the property or contents when it is let, may restrict the cover and or increase the premium. Years ago insurance companies were not happy about covering let property in the UK, but today you have a choice. Five of these long established specialists - Homelet, Letsure, Rentguard, Endsleigh and Rentshield Direct can be contacted on this page by clicking Here. You can obtain a quote on line and arrange cover on line.

You should remember that the following categories of Insurance for Landlords should be looked at:

Buildings Insurance -This is for re-Build costs - not market valuation. It is essential that your property is adequately insured. Sometimes the re-building value will be considerably lower or higher than its market value. Older properties in the lower priced areas in the UK will cost much more to re-build that their market value.

In the UK many properties are under insured, which means in the event of a claim, insurers will not pay the full amount of the claim. If you have any concerns about the amount of cover you need for re-building contact a professional qualified surveyor. If you have an apartment, the buildings insurance will often be part of the amount you pay out annually for service charges and ground rent. Check out the situation with the block management agents. (See below)

You should also advise and obtain consent to let your property from your mortgage lender, existing insurer and head lessee (for leasehold properties). Failure to obtain written consent from these parties may render your insurance void in the event of a claim.

Many general insurers and mortgage lenders will not cover the property if you intend to place certain categories of tenants in your property i.e. Student, Multiple single sharers and tenants in receipt of State Benefits. Check this out.


Do you own more than one Rental Property - Want to save money? Click on Logo Below


Usually buildings policies will provide an element of Employers Liability cover. This covers claims for death or injury to anyone you employ at your property i.e. a gardener, painter etc. If you are letting to students or to tenants in receipt of state benefit the university / local authority will normally require a minimum cover.

It is also essential that your policy includes Property Owners liability cover to a similar limit to cover injury, death or damage to individuals on or adjacent to your property.

When you take out a Buildings Policy the main insured perils should include Fire - Lightening - Aircraft - Explosion - Smoke - Impact - Burst pipes or leakage of oil - Storm or flood - Subsidence damage - Theft- Malicious damage. (Some policies will give the option of malicious damage caused by the tenants - a valuable option for let properties).

Most policies will compensate you for loss of rent following damage from one of the above perils if the property is uninhabitable. Check this out with your block management agent if you have an apartment and don't arrange the buildings insurance yourself.

It should be noted however, that damage to property caused by tenants who are classed as DSS aylum seekers, refugees or students will no longer be covered under some buildings insurance for blocks of apartments and you should seek professional advice. If your flat is let and you have not taken out additional insurance, you will be held personally liable in the event of damage to property, including neighbouring properties, howsoever caused, including all costs incurred by the Management Company, solicitors, neighbours etc.

Contents Insurance - A high percentage of owner occupied properties in the UK are under-insured for the contents. Generally individuals place a value of what the contents are worth not what it would cost to replace them with new items.

Most specialist insurers will offer the option of a full contents policy or a limited contents policy. Limited Contents Cover. As many UK properties are let unfurnished / part furnished. A limited contents policy would typically give a fixed limit of cover for items such as: Carpets - Curtains - Blinds - Light fixtures and fittings - Kitchen white goods on a new for old basis.

If your property is fully furnished or the limited contents would cost more than £5,000 to replace, you should have a full contents policy. You would normally select the sum you wish to insure for; again this should be adequate to replace all of the contents on a new for old basis.

Emergency Assistance -This type of cover will provide assistance for the landlord and the tenant in the event of an emergency at the property such as: Failure of the electricity supply - Failure of the cooking facilities - Lost keys - Plumbing problems - Leaking roofs or guttering - Security of doors and windows. Policies will provide parts and labour cover up to a specified amount and either the landlord or the tenant can call a 24hr 365 day Helpline. (Check out the details on offer from the insurance company)

If you have not taken a full management service from your letting agent or do not live near your property this can be a cost effective solution. Please note that that these policies cover Emergency Assistance only and not a repair service through lack of routine maintenance.

Legal Expenses Insurance - Even when using the services of a professional letting agent, problems with tenants can occur. In many cases the tenants personal circumstances have changed during the term of the tenancy. (See Section Advice for Landlords) Situations like loss of their job, failure of their business, a relationship break-up, accident or illness will effect the tenants ability to pay the rent or their inclination to move out at the end of the tenancy.

All these situations can be resolved but will usually involve a Court hearing and solicitors costs. Legal expenses insurance will usually cover all of your legal costs, solicitors/barristers fees, Court and bailiffs' costs. Most such policies will cost well under £100, which represent less than 45 minutes of a specialist solicitors time on a normal fee paying basis. The "average" legal cost of a possession hearing in 2001 was £785, many cost well over £1,000.

Rent Guarantee Insurance -These policies are invaluable for many landlords. As a tax deductible premium this will guarantee you receive the rent you are expecting from your property regardless of your tenants personal circumstances, ability or willingness to pay the rent.

If you have a mortgage on the property or have calculated your rental income verses your outgoings this will ensure you do receive your rent. Most such policies will include the legal expenses, as detailed above. You will receive your rent and the legal fees to obtain vacant possession will be covered.

Policies will usually guarantee your rental for a fixed period, typically 6 or 12 months. Some policies will provide additional cover once you have obtained vacant possession until you are able to re-let your policy.

The costs vary from a fixed cost policy or are commonly rated as a percentage of the annual rental figure, typically 3-4%.

©jmlpropertyservices December 2004

Additional Pages to View - Please click on the topic

Insurance advice for Landlords

Insurance Advice for Tenants

Tenants Rental Advice

Buy to Let Uk

How to present your rental Property

Selling your property

Landlord Insurance

Emergency Insurance Cover


Letting your Property? Click HERE for useful Information for Landlords  

Part "P" Building Regulations (Electrical Safety in Dwellings) england and Wales Click Here

Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme Click Here






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