Landlord Insurance Clauses

Landlord Insurance Clauses

10:36 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago 29

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Landlord Insurance Clauses

How many landlords have the time or the inclination to read their building insurance policies from start to finish?

The special clause that has recently appeared in two of my policies is the requirement to have the property electrics checked & certified every three years. This is not a legal requirement, but if missed a landlord could inadvertently find they’re not covered if they come to make a claim.

In the last few years the level of cover being offered has been considerably eroded, especially when the property is empty. Also more & more onerous requirements are being put on landlords to comply with the insurance company’s restrictions.

The temperature that my insurance provider requires the heating to be kept on 24/7 in an empty property has crept up from 13 degrees to 15 degrees. In this day and age this waste of energy is ridiculous. As long as the heating is keeping the property warmed to above freezing surely this should be sufficient?

I would be interested in getting other landlords comments on this, especially as to whether claims are being refused more regularly.



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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

10:45 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Carole

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Obviously it is important for landlords to check their policies to satisfy themselves that their cover is appropriate to their requirements.

I agree with you about the minimum temperature at which vacant building need to be maintained at. I would also recommend landlords to check their policies when a property is left vacant anyway because cover often ceases after a vacant period and this does change amongst providers. I have seen anything from 1 to 6 months but two or three seems to be the norm.

Industry Observer

10:56 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago

15C has been the norm in tenancy clauses for years. It is still less than 60F

Compulsory full electrical certificates including annual PAT are also becoming more and more common, and many prudent agents insist on Landlords having one though it should be 5 years.

More and more companies and relocation companies insist on them, and of course local authorities if you let to them and above all if it is an HMO.

My understanding is that serious talks are going on in appropriate places to bring in electrics on same basis as gas i.e. compulsory and I for one think that would be a very good thing and a level playing field.

Watch this space around 2016

Fed Up Landlord

11:08 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago

The problem being is that electrical inspections by todays standards against properties built 30 years ago always reveal a lot of work. Even though my electrician says the wiring is safe he cannot sign it off unless about £4-500 as a minimum is spent. On one property- ok. On 10, 20, 30- its a lot if money. Yes I know people will go on about tenant safety and I agree. But uf the electrics are safe why do we have to upgrade everything to satisfy the insurance companies? I'll answer that shall I? Because they won't cover you if you don't.

Industry Observer

11:16 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago

Gary I agree and cost is the reason why they have been delayed and not yet brought in.

Compulsory electric certificates got as far a Guernsey I think it was about 15 -20 years ago, but never reached the mainland when they were expected to.

This time I think they might make it but with properties new to the market having to comply immediately, and others on next re-let or some other phasing in system.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

11:16 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Nock" at "02/04/2014 - 11:08":

If these regulations do come about then I hope they are imposed on all property owners and not just landlords.

How many homeowners get an annual gas safety check? They are putting their own lives at risk as well as their neighbours, some of which might be my tenants who live next door to them.

I agree with IO, whatever is done it needs to be a level playing field.

Industry Observer

11:33 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago

I meant level with gas Mark i.e. on any rented property.

There is no chance of it being imposed in non rented properties. Mind I do mine every 2 years

Adam Hosker

11:37 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago

I don't like requirement clauses such as that; should be required to be stated on any key facts document.

Any regulation requiring an Electrical Test every few years is someone irrelevent, the law is clear that the landlord is responsible for health and safety. Not doing so every few years leaves a landlord open to severe risks - if their is an incident and you don't have proof you believed the property was safe!

Landlord’s Common Law duty of care and the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 requires that the electrical equipment is safe and maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.

Neil Patterson

11:37 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago

Always check your insurance cover when a property is going to be empty as Insurers always perceive vacated properties as high risk.

I think standard on your own house insurance is no longer than 30 days empty.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

11:37 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "02/04/2014 - 11:33":

How is that a level playing field then?

Why shouldn't owner occupiers be made legally responsible for protecting the lives of their children, neighbours, emergency services who try to rescue them when their house explodes in a ball of flames and of course their own lives?

If it's good for the goose ....

11:44 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 10 years ago

I get Electrical Safety Certificate annually for my properties as a matter of course, also if there is`a tenancy change over because you ever know what addons/alteration tenants have DIYed.
After all what price do you want to put on safety.

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