What are the most common landlord claims and can I avoid them?

8th March, 2018

As a landlord, it is your job to provide a safe and habitable environment for your tenants. However, sometimes things go wrong and it is important you are sufficiently insured with the correct level of Landlord’s Insurance to not only financially protect yourself, but to get your property up and running as normal as quickly as possible.

Below are the most common rental property claims from landlords and how best to avoid them.

Water damage

Burst pipes and flooding are common causes of water damage in properties.

With recent temperatures plummeting down to -5 degrees and snow spreading throughout Nottingham and across the country, it is unsurprising that there have been many homes and buildings with burst pipes and no water. Whilst this cannot be helped, it is important to regularly check your property every quarter to ensure all pipes are in working order. Your tenant should know where the stopcock is to stop the water supply and reduce any damage.

Some areas in Nottingham and its surroundings, including Long Eaton, are prone to flooding. Some insurers do not insure ‘high-risk properties’ so it is important to check whether you have an adequate level of Flood Risks cover included in your Landlord’s Insurance policy. Again, this cannot be helped but preventive measures, such as signing up for flooding alerts; turning off gas, water and electrics should a flood be expected; moving as much furniture off the ground levels as possible; and putting sandbags in place can reduce damage and repair costs.

Storm damage

Violent winds, heavy rain, wintery snow showers – we have seen it all this winter. In such conditions, it is important to maintain the roof, fixing any loose tiles and holes. Also, ensure all fence panels are secure and any outdoor furniture is tied down or asked to be brought inside when a storm is expected. It is important to remember conservatories can be considered a higher risk so check you are adequately covered by your Landlord’s Insurance Policy.

View our Storm Doris case study here

Accidental Damage

Accidental damage is classed as a sudden or unexpected unintentional incident such as spilling red wine on the carpet, dropping something on the kitchen floor tiles causing a crack and so forth. Whilst we understand accidents do happen, it is important to be aware that this type of cover is usually optional and for an additional cost on your Landlord’s Insurance policy but could be invaluable. Additional measures can include applying fabric protector, securing large furniture to the wall and regular inspections to ensure minimal damage and that any problems are fixed quickly.

Malicious Damage

Malicious damage is defined as an act with intent to cause damage or harm, such as graffiti, damaging doors and windows to break in, punching holes in walls, smashing glass etc. If your property is in a high crime rate area, insure your property accordingly. You may wish to have an alarm system fitted, security lights and cameras installed, and ensure locks are to the latest standards and that garages, sheds and gates are locked when not in use.

Loss of rental income

When tenants fall on hardship such as losing their job, becoming ill, being moved to a care home or perhaps even passing away, collecting any arrears for rent can be time-consuming. Loss of Rental Income is a type of insurance that you can be included into your Landlord’s Insurance policy, offering financial protection for such instances.

Electrical fire  

Whilst this is not a common claim for landlords, it does tend to be the costliest.

According to the Nottingham Post, almost 100 fires in the Nottinghamshire area over the last year were due to faulty appliances, and the cause of the Bulwell flats fire was also due to an electrical fault.

The Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations 1994 state that all electrical appliances provided as part of the tenancy agreement must be safe when they are provided for tenant use. To avoid facing hefty fines, landlords must also ensure they have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their rental property which is used as living accommodation, and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used. Landlords must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

We understand that the above risks are sometimes unavoidable. However, with the correct level of Landlord’s Insurance cover, the time and cost of recovering from these risks can be kept to a minimal. If you are concerned about being underinsured, discuss your Landlord’s Insurance cover with a member of our team today.

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