New to being a landlord? Or have you made the switch from commercial to residential lettings?
Our straightforward guide to residential landlord insurance will give you the ins and outs of what you need to protect with a policy, plus some handy tips for letting your residential property to students…
Firstly, what does landlord insurance cover?
Typical landlord insurance policies will cover:
• Buildings – usually up to a certain amount, which may include fittings and fixtures such as lights and kitchen worktops.
• Keys and locks – if your tenants’ keys are stolen, your policy will cover the cost of replacing them
• Malicious damage – residential landlord insurance policies should cover malicious damage to the property caused by your tenants and any of their guests, for up to a certain amount
• Owner’s liability – property owner’s liability for up to a specified amount
• Rental loss – compensation for loss of income as a result of an insured event
Bear in mind, these covers can differ slightly depending on your insurance company, so it’s important to conduct thorough research before deciding on a policy.
Is there an option for covering the items you provide for your tenants?
The “buildings” element of your residential landlord insurance will only cover the structure of the property, plus fixtures and fittings - so what about the contents inside it?
Landlord contents insurance will cover the items you provide your tenants, such as a table and chairs, a sofa and even white goods. These items could be damaged by accident or even stolen if the property was broken into. Typically, this cover starts from around £5,000 and can go up to approximately £50,000-£60,000. It’s always best to check this before committing to a policy.
You can take out contents insurance as a separate policy to your residential landlord insurance, or as an add-on to your policy. Research both options and see if one turns out to be more cost-effective than the other.
Are there any optional extras?
Your insurance company may offer optional extras that you can choose to add to your policy.
Some typical extras you can add:
• Home emergency – does your property need immediate repair following unexpected damage? This extra covers call-outs and labour, parts and materials to action these repairs. It’s best to check with your insurance company regarding the amount you can claim.
• Accidental damage – this covers your contents against accidental damage caused by your tenants. It also covers any damage you cause to your contents.
As with any full residential landlord insurance policy, it’s always best to get an understanding of the extras you can include, and the specifics attributed to each. You may find that you require legal cover as an extra, which provides you with legal protection up to a certain monetary amount. But does it also provide legal advice? It’s best to find out before selecting your extras.
Can you get residential landlord insurance for student lets?
Yes. Being a residential landlord doesn’t mean you can’t be a student landlord as well.
While a residential landlord insurance policy isn’t necessarily exclusive to professional tenants, you will still need to let your insurer know the type of tenants you’re letting your property to so they can quote accordingly. This applies whether you are letting to professionals, DSS tenants or students.
Tips for new student landlords
Thinking of letting your residential property to students? Here’s a list of helpful tips:
Students prefer larger bedrooms to larger living space – if your property has three bedrooms, try converting it to four and adding in stud walls for partitions that create extra rooms.
Is the loft accessible and fully boarded? If not, include a clause in your tenancy agreement that states the loft is not included in their living space.
Build a network of local contractors who can carry out any repairs you may need.
Make sure you get the telephone numbers and email addresses of all your new tenants. If someone misses a rent payment, you’ll have multiple ways to get in touch with them.
Include a detailed inventory before your student tenants move in. That way you can make sure any damage to your own furniture or white goods is accounted for.
For more helpful information, read our 10 tips for getting your property ready for students.
Residential landlord insurance with Endsleigh
We work with a panel of leading insurers to find the best price for you – whatever your requirements. We understand the need for flexibility with your residential property cover, which is why our policy is designed to help you get the best cover that suits your individual needs as a landlord.
Whether you’re looking for landlord insurance for student houses, or you want to insure a residential property for non-students, learn more about our residential landlord insurance and get a quote today.