12th May 2018
This week, rather than replying to a question, I thought I would write about a situation that occurred recently. Last month, we had a leak from one of our landlords’ apartments into the apartment below. Now, the leak was stopped and repaired within 24 hours, however, there was damage done to the apartment below. In such a scenario, we/landlord would make a claim on the contents insurance and all would be well. This owner, however, does not have this in place! This will make it a long and lengthy battle with the owners of the apartment below, and their insurance company, and will be very costly for our landlord who will have to fund the repairs.
This is not a unique case, but a very common one. We all have to cover a car, pet, home or holiday but choosing insurance can be a tricky minefield involving endless small print and differences between what policies do and do not cover. For landlords, the right home insurance cover is vital, but it is easy to get it wrong and doing so can be costly.
Let me tell you another story of a landlord who rented out their home to tenants while they were overseas. They returned to find their house, and all its contents, completely trashed. The tenants had stripped the property of the furniture and other fittings and there was extensive water damage to the walls, ceilings and floors, caused by extremely high heat and humidity levels; indicating the tenants had likely been growing cannabis in the house. Now, if this was not bad enough the couple mistakenly thought their home insurance policy – which was sold to them as suitable for a tenanted property – would cover them for the £100,000 worth of damage incurred. But, when they tried to claim their insurer refused to pay out, pointing to small print in the policy stating that it did not include cover for malicious damage or theft caused by people lawfully in the home. The cover was for theft and damage following a break in.
Although it may seem common sense to assume that an insurance policy for a rented property will provide cover for damage caused by tenants, when it comes to insurance one should never assume anything. Every detail should be checked so you have a thorough understanding of exactly what you are and are not covered for. Sadly these landlords will have to pay the price for having the wrong or no insurance. Too many landlords inadequately insure their property, some mistakenly believing that a standard home insurance policy will cover them.
Like everything in life, it is always best to be over protected than under. At Sow&Reap we can tailor a service to your needs. Please get in touch if you would like any help.