Landlord claims for malicious tenant damage rocket by 50%

Landlord claims for malicious tenant damage rocket by 50%

8:45 AM, 26th August 2022, About 2 years ago 4

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While the number of landlord insurance claims increased by 13% during the pandemic, those for malicious tenant damage were among the fastest growing causes of a claim, research reveals.

And the firm’s lead claims specialist says the huge rise for malicious tenant damage could be that ‘Some tenants might have grown to feel resentment towards landlords who still expected them to pay the rent.’

The analysis from Total Landlord Insurance highlights that during the pandemic, landlords were unable to access their properties as the government prevented them from doing so.

Despite this inability to see the state of their properties first-hand, landlord insurance claims increased by 13% between 2019 and 2021, from 536 annual claims up to 603.

During this time, the fastest growing reason for an insurance claim was for storm damage which increased by 93%, from 70 claims in 2019 up to 135 in 2021.

Malicious tenant damage has become increasingly common

However, malicious tenant damage has also become an increasingly common reason for landlord insurance claims during the lockdown and they rose by 50%.

During the pandemic, the average landlord insurance claim size also increased.

The firm says there has been a rise of 29% between 2019 and 2021 as the average claim rose from £5,773 to £7,429.

The biggest rise in claim size was for liability insurance claims.

Harm or injury that befalls a tenant

Liability insurance protects a landlord against any harm or injury that befalls a tenant while inside the property, and during the pandemic, the average claim grew by 270% from £1,306 to £4,827.

At the same time, the average claim for storm damage increased by 140%, break-in claims rose by 101% and claims for underground services went up by 95%.

Melissa Choules, the lead claims specialist at Total Landlord Insurance, said: “The pandemic made it almost impossible for landlords to gain access to their properties and along with the direct impact of the pandemic on tenants themselves, this suggests this may have contributed to an increase in insurance claims.

“With landlords also unable to maintain their rental properties for such a prolonged period, the average size of a claim has also increased as they look to rectify multiple years of damage and wear and tear.”

‘Increase in claims resulting from malicious damage’

She added: “It’s also interesting to see such an increase in claims resulting from malicious damage.

“This could suggest that, during the pandemic, tenants were feeling increasingly frustrated, trapped and unable to move.

“At the same time, some tenants might have grown to feel resentment towards landlords who still expected them to pay the rent as normal despite significant reductions in income and job security.

“It was an incredibly difficult time for so many people, and with this new cost of living crisis now upon us, life for tenants isn’t going to get any easier.”

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Ian Narbeth

12:02 PM, 26th August 2022, About 2 years ago

There is no excuse for malicious damage by tenants. If the police and local authorities would take this seriously the small percentage of nasty tenants who do this might be smaller.

If tenants were prosecuted for criminal damage and if Councils kept databases of rogue tenants (alongside their much-touted rogue landlord databases) tenants would know there were adverse consequences to selfish criminal behaviour.


12:51 PM, 26th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 26/08/2022 - 12:02
The problem with prosecuting tenants is proving that the tenant acted criminally and that, for example, the kitchen cabinet did not simply fall apart because the landlord failed to maintain it. Of course if the tenant was successfully prosecuted, then that would be reflected on a DBS check.


13:09 PM, 27th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Not surprised, as we head into recession and money gets tighter expect more of this.

The Forever Tenant

12:11 PM, 29th August 2022, About 2 years ago

This is one of those where I have to wonder what the actual numbers are for use in the headline. A percentage increase does not really tell a good story, but it makes for a great headline.

Heres my reasoning.

The total number of claims increased from 536 to 603 - 67 Claims.

Claims for storm damage increased from 70 to 135 - 65 Claims.

So it could be appear that 65 out of that increase of 67 were for storm damage. Leaving 2. Thus it could be that the number of malicious damage claims went from 4 to 6 a year. If that was the case then that would be expected in the natural variability of these things. And the number of claims as a percentage of the total policies out there is a tiny tiny portion.

Basically what I am getting at is be wary of information given like this. It feels like it has been written in such a way to stir up contempt by the absence of information. What has been written is not a lie, but may be misleading.

It also be that the number of claims for other things has gone down which would allow for the malicious damage number to be higher, but this cannot be determined with the data provided.

I guess what I am saying is always be sceptical of data when certain information is not given in places where it is in others.

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