Will my landlords’ contents insurance cover my tenant’s belongings?

Posted: 4th Jun 2014

No, it will not.

This is an occasional area of misunderstanding that can easily catch out both landlords and tenants alike.

In reality, landlords’ buildings and contents insurance exists to protect the interests of landlords and in some specific circumstances, third parties who might be injured or have their property damaged as a result of the landlord’s property.

So, a typical landlords’ policy covering the bricks and mortar plus contents might provide cover for circumstances such as:

  • damage to the building itself as well as its fittings;
  • situations where the landlord’s contents, such as furniture, were destroyed by a fire or perhaps stolen in a burglary;
  • instances where your tenants or another third party have sued you for damages under third party liability provisions and won their case.

However, third party liability cover typically does not include protection for the possessions of your tenants nor indeed their own physical wellbeing – unless the illness or injury was accepted by a court as being a direct consequence of something for which you were personally responsible as the landlord.

So, it might be prudent to assume that typically your landlords’ contents insurance will not cover your tenants for things including:

  • the theft of their possessions following a burglary;
  • the destruction of their property following something such as a fire;
  • personal accidents or injuries they may sustain;
  • accidents, illness or redundancy, which might prevent them from earning income and thereby paying their rent.

It’s typically a good idea to make sure these points are clarified with your tenants in advance, perhaps as part of your tenancy agreement. Special tenants’ insurance does exist and it may be in their best interests to look for it.