Do I need landlords insurance?

Posted: 4th Jun 2014

You may become a landlord rather more easily and even unintentionally, than you might believe possible!

At Cover4LetProperty we will always gladly expand upon these definitions in more detail but the following points might help as an interim answer to the question: “do I need landlords insurance?”

You may wish to consider:

  • in any situation where you start obtaining rental income from your property, you have become a landlord;
  • that might apply even in what you may consider to be a relatively trivial situation, such as letting out a single room or two in your own house;
  • once you cross the threshold into a landlord’s activities, you may find that any existing buildings and contents cover you have on the property may become invalid, if it was designed for owner-occupier use;
  • typically, you cannot use an owner-occupier policy to protect your buildings or contents in a situation where you have tenants;
  • in some cases, the above might apply even if you are letting out a room on a very temporary basis during the holidays or university term etc. You might even find that this definition applies if you are letting out rooms to someone you consider to be a friend or relative – the governing factor may be whether or not they are paying you rent;
  • keep in mind that insurance might not be your only issue when making the transition from owner-occupier to a landlord. In some parts of the United Kingdom, you may also need to be formally registered with the local authorities;
  • once you take out landlords cover, you should find that you obtain a range of protection in addition to what you may have previously considered to be normal in the context of owner-occupation. That is partly why a specific landlords’ policy is required;
  • it is very important to remember that any landlords’ policy might be put at risk if you fail to comply with the legal and regulatory framework governing the use of property for rental income;
  • examples of that might include things such as gas safety inspections, electrical inspections and the provision of appropriate safety equipment;
  • make sure that you discuss in advance with your insurance provider, any situation where you plan to use your property for multiple purposes in addition to letting. For example, running a small workshop on the ground floor, whilst letting to tenants above, may be an issue for your cover unless you have discussed it with your policy provider.

Insurance providers are always eager to ensure that you have appropriate cover for your individual circumstances.

Making assumptions and guesses about the type of cover you may or may not need might be risky. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice and guidance.