Landlord

What is boiler cover? 

The boiler in your tenant’s property (and for that matter, your own house) is key to providing warm water for sinks and (sometimes) showers, aswell as keeping the house warm during the winter.  Without a working boiler, houses can be incredibly uncomfortable places to live.  As landlord, you have a responsibility to provide a safe, working boiler as well and fix it in a reasonable time frame should it breakdown.  In that instance, an insurance policy will ensure quick access to emergency plumbers, to repair and/or replace as quickly as possible. 

Who has the cheapest full coverage insurance? 

The cheapest full coverage insurance (i.e. that which covers all elements of landlord insurance) will depend entirely on your situation.  Think of it like car insurance; a provider that insures Fords for the best price, may not be the place to go to insure a Ferrari.  True also of landlord insurance; your property types (and quantity), along with the furnishing quantity, rental amounts etc will all affect the ultimate cost of your policy.  The solution?  Insurance comparison sites will give you the best solution to find the most appropriate cover.  Remember; the cheapest may not always be the best for your situation; be sure to read the detail and the terms of the policy carefully. 

How much is content insurance UK? 

The cost of all types of insurance are heavily dependent upon the amount you are insuring. For example; a property with £50,000 worth of high end furniture will cost significantly more to insure than a small flat with minimal furnishings.  That said, you can typically get cover from £13 per month for your contents; simply visit a provider to get a quote tailored to your requirements. 

How much should you insure your contents for? 

Consider the question “how much will it cost to replace all the items in the property” – and that’s the value for which you should insure the contents for.  In the case of damage or theft, or an emergency situation such as fire or flood, consider the cost of replacing all the individual items within the property that you’ve paid for. 

How much does home contents insurance cost?

The cost of all types of insurance are heavily dependent upon the amount you are insuring. For example; a property with £50,000 worth of high end furniture will cost significantly more to insure than a small flat with minimal furnishings.  That said, you can typically get cover from £13 per month for your contents; simply visit a provider to get a quote tailored to your requirements.

Whats included in contents insurance? 

Contents insurance for landlords will typically cover the fixtures and fittings (such as lights, carpets) and the appliances and furniture listed on your inventory at the beginning of the tenancy against damage or theft.  Pricing varies dependent upon the specific property, so visit a provider to get a quote tailored to your situation to learn more.  Be sure to read the detail of the policy. 

How much is contents insurance? 

The cost of all types of insurance are heavily dependent upon the amount you are insuring. For example; a property with £50,000 worth of high end furniture will cost significantly more to insure than a small flat with minimal furnishings.  That said, you can typically get cover from £13 per month for your contents; simply visit a provider to get a quote tailored to your requirements. 

What does contents insurance cover?

Contents insurance covers the household items in your rental property against damage or theft.  Note that it will not cover your tenant’s possessions; they fall to the tenant’s responsibility (and they can take out a separate policy if they wish). 

What is contents insurance?

Contents insurance will cover all the items noted on the inventory of your rental property against damage or theft.  In the case of a furnished property, this will of course contain more items and the insured value will be of a higher amount.  It will not cover your tenant’s possessions. 

What type of insurance do I need as a landlord? 

Legally, you are not required to hold insurance.  However, you may have a requirement by your lender if you have a mortgage on the property that you need a minimum level of cover (such as buildings insurance).  As part of the package of insurance, you could also look at; rent arrears insurance (sometimes called tenant default insurance), contents insurance, legal cover and liability insurance. 

How much rent insurance should I get?

This is entirely dependent upon your ability to cover costs in the event of your tenant not paying their rent.  If you are able to cover a few months, the policy you require would be very different if you were not able to cover any period of zero-rent.  There are different policies available to which you can customise your requirements; look at the detail of each to understand which is best for you.

What is tenant default insurance?

Tenant Default Insurance, sometimes referred to as rent guarantee insurance, is a product that will pay you the tenant’s rent if they fail to do so.  Each product is slightly different, so be sure to check the details of the product you’re purchasing.  You are not obliged to have it (it’s not a legal requirement), however ask yourself if you’d be able to maintain the costs of the property (such as your mortgage payments) if the tenants failed to pay. 

Should I get rent guarantee insurance?

If your tenant does not pay their rent, are you able to cover the costs of the property (such as your mortgage payments)?  If not, you should consider purchasing a rent guarantee insurance.  Depending on the specific terms, you may not receive every month’s rent that your tenant does not pay; some policies activate only after certain times periods.  Be sure to check the specifics of any policy you take out. 

Does landlord insurance cover rent arrears?

It can do, yes.  You can buy rent arrears insurance (sometimes called rent guarantee insurance, or tenant default insurance) as part of a larger policy, or on its own.  Note the terms of the policy; typically rent arrears insurance will only activate once the tenant has failed to pay after a specific number of months, and within certain criteria.  Compare policies to find the one that is most suitable for your needs.

How long can a tenant have a guest stay?

There is no specific time period that determines how long a guest may stay in your rented accommodation.  A court will look at the circumstances and make a judgement accordingly; for example, family visiting from abroad for a month are clearly just visitors.  A boyfriend staying for 2 months whilst working locally would be deemed a lodger, and this may well be against the terms of your contract.  Unsure?  Talk to your landlord.  Such questions and queries are always best resolved with a quick chat to understand what, who, and why.

How do I protect my tenant’s deposit?

You are legally obliged to “retain” your tenant’s deposit, providing them with proof that you have lodged it with an approved scheme. You have choices of how that is done;

  1. Receive the full cash amount from your tenant (you can request up to a maximum of 5 weeks rent – 6 weeks if annual rent is over £50,000), and lodge it directly with one of the 3 main schemes (MyDeposit, DepositProtectionService, or TDS). You give the scheme the money, and they hold it for you until the end of the tenancy. You are provided with certification that the tenant’s cash is in an approved scheme, and at the end of the tenancy you may request for deductions to cover any damage or rent arrears, or confirm the full amount may be paid back to the tenant.  This service is provided free of charge, but the schemes get to keep any interest that is accrued on the cash while it is in their possession.
  2. Receive the full cash amount from your tenant as before, but rather than give the cash amount to one of the approved schemes, you may simply confirm to them that you will retain the cash in one of your own accounts (Thereby receiving the interest). There is a small fee associated with this which acts as an insurance in case you fail to return the money at the end of the tenancy.
  3. There are alternatives to the government backed schemes. Companies like ZeroDeposit, Canopy, Ome or Flatfair offer a Deposit Guarantee; a fee paid by the tenant, so they do not have to front the relatively high sum of cash needed – which often proves a problem especially when changing between tenancies (when one deposit has not yet been returned, but the next one is required). In these instances, the tenant pays a small fee (equivalent to about 1 weeks rent) and you the landlord are provided with a certificate which confirms that in the event of damages, unpaid rent etc, you will be reimbursed for the required amount.  You are not obliged to accept these alternative schemes, but they do open your property up to a wider range of tenants, and in some cases letting agents require them.
Can a landlord say no overnight guests?

Any clause in the tenant contract that states they are not allowed overnight guests is likely to be unenforceable. There is a distinction between overnight guests occasionally staying, and a lodger that effectively lives in the property. If they’re also paying the tenant, then it’s sub-letting and this is likely to be against the terms of the agreement.

What happens if a deposit is not protected within 30 days?

Once you have received a cash deposit (usually the equivalent of 5 weeks rent), as a landlord you must lodge that deposit within an approved scheme. You have a range of options of which scheme to choose, but all of them must provide “prescribed information” to a tenant, and any relevant persons, showing the details of where their cash is protected.
If you don’t provide this within 30 days of your tenant giving you their deposit, you may be liable to a fine of up to 3 times the deposit amount.

For more information on what to do next, visit; https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/if-your-landlord-doesnt-protect-your-deposit

What happens if I don’t protect my tenant’s deposit?

If a tenant provides you with a cash deposit (as opposed to a certificate from a Deposit Guarantee scheme), then you are legally obliged to retain that deposit either through a Custodial, or Insured scheme with one of the 3 Government approved services; MyDeposits, TDS, or Deposit Protection Service. If you do not, you are liable to a fine up to 3 times the value of the deposit, as well as restricting your future ability to receive tenant deposits.

**All these views are for information only, please always seek professional advice before acting.