Do you know that over 9 million people are now renting in the UK and that one in 20 people rents out a property to supplement their main income. However, new research by insurers LV, shows many are unaware of the regulations.
The research also found that almost 500,000 landlords have not had their property checked by a gas safety engineer in the last 12 months, risking prosecutions and fines of up to £20,000
All landlords must comply with current regulations on rented homes. By law, all landlords must ensure that gas equipment is installed and checked annually by a registered engineer. Tenant deposits must be held in a deposit protection scheme and some local authorities insist that landlords in their area obtain a licence.
As a managing agent we are able to take responsibility to ensure that all legislation is complied with as well as check tenants and manage the rent collection. However, 49% of today’s part time landlords manage their rental property themselves and do not have such protection.
As well as risking fines from the local authority, landlords could find themselves heavily out of pocket should one of their tenants make a claim against them. Slips and trips can result in expensive compensation claims for property owners who are liable for any harm to a tenant or member of the public as a result of the condition of the property.
For example, a landlord could be sued by someone who falls and is injured because a pathway has not been maintained. Landlords can also be liable for damage to adjacent properties, such as an overflowing gutter causing water damage to a neighbouring house.
The insurance needs of a rented property are very different to those of an owner occupied home and standard home buildings insurance will not usually cover homes that are tenanted.
With almost a third of landlords saying their rental property has been damaged at some point and has had to be repaired, 44% said the main cause has been damage by tenants, 17% by flooding and 8% by storm damage.
Landlords not only need cover for any damage to their property but they also need to think about their tenants and how they will house them if the property becomes uninhabitable, as well as the lost rental income.
If you require legal advice on becoming a landlord, contact Poole Townsend on: (01229) 811811
If you would like Poole Townsend to manage your property call (01229) 467565