Landlord Insurance Clauses

Landlord Insurance Clauses

10:36 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 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.

Regards

Carole



Comments

by Industry Observer

11:47 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 years ago

Mark it isn't level because it isn't required now on gas. And private houses are not making rental profits for the owners.

Anyway be careful this hobby horse looks a bit high to me!!

Adam makes an outstandingly good point and one I had forgotten I always make when training and dealing with electrics - get a certificate as if there is an incident and 'they' want to get you there are Regulations 'they' can use for everything in the property.

Very good point Adam - if there is an electrical incident at a property serious enough for 'them' to get involved any Landlord will wish like hell that he'd spent the £105 it now costs for 5 years of ticked boxes.

If you want to mount an electrics campaign Mark ask why LAs want a full check every 3 years when the certificate lasts 5 years

by Don Holmes

11:58 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 years ago

On the subject of insurance I Recently had cause to claim under the "malicious damage" clause tenant left the place in a right mess, however after arguing for a few weeks with the assessor which I guess we all expect, the insurance company has come back and charged me 7 x the excess as it could not be proved the damage to each room was not a separate incident? We did manage to argue this down to 4 x upstairs- down stair- outside front- outside back Un- believable but true.

We were then instructed to finalise the claim to sign a " full and final" settlement document, I have done so but once in funds I am going to redress this, point is watch out for this one!

by Mark Alexander

11:59 AM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "02/04/2014 - 11:47":

It is the fact that regulations are not imposed on owner occupiers that I have the problem with, for the reasons previously stated.

Why on earth would you bring profits into the debate? We are talking about peoples lives here! Isn't that why the regulations were imposed on landlords. If the lawmakers don't care about the safety of children living with irresponsible parents who don't get their homes checked for gas then why do they care so much about rental properties? Can't have it both ways!

I'm so pleased that I mainly purchased modern properties, all those I purchased that date back pre 1970's have all had to be re-wired, new fuse boards etc. I do take my responsibilities seriously!

I don't have gas at home but I do have electricity (yes even in mid Norfolk LOL) and I also have an electrical certificate dated just a few months ago for my own home 🙂
.

by Industry Observer

12:04 PM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 years ago

Mark

Calm down dear!!

I bring profits into it because that is what the powers that be will do.

Your argument is actually lost because it was not made compulsory for owner occupies when gas came in. So why should it be with electrics.

Why gas is needed in rented properties and electrics eventually will be is because they are 'commercial' and above all the occupier is at the mercy of someone else for their sdafety. In your own homee you are not - though I accept you are at your neighbours.

Mark I think with respect your argument is a bit disingenuous and simply doesn't want extra costs heaped on Landlords or if they are wants them heaped on all of us. Be careful what you wish for if they do so on electrics then they might do so on gas!!!

by Mark Alexander

12:08 PM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "02/04/2014 - 12:04":

My argument is not lost, it simply hasn't been made before, certainly not by me anyway.

What I have said here today is the same thing I will be saying to my press contacts if the topic ever hits the mainstream media.
.

by Ray Davison

13:42 PM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 years ago

Two observations from me.

Firstly, a lot of the electrical inspections I see are worthless. I have gone into a property the day after a pass certified inspection and found exposed wiring and other issues. I have a friend who is a fully qualified electrician both residential and industrial/commercial and he says there is no way you can do a proper inspection for £100 or so and that's in the North East not London. To do it for that, electrician are cutting corners and taking risks. It's the same with PAT testing for £30-£50 all you are getting is a sticker writing exercise, they are not testing. How many electricians pull a built in electric oven (Or fridge, washing machine, etc) out of it's housing to open the plug up and check the wiring which is what you are supposed to do? Until these issues are adressed although we may help to protect ourselves against liability should the worst happen, we should not kid ourselves that safety is being maintained.

Second, can anyone illuminate me on why the insurance companies want the property kept at 15C? When I am in my house I only have it at 18 and if on holiday (Even in the winter) I leave it on the frost setting (Normally 5C) that is after all why heating systems have such a setting incorporated. You won't get condensation by leaving a property cold as that comes from warm air hitting cold surfaces and if you don't heat the air that does not happen, so that cannot be the reason.

by Industry Observer

14:20 PM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 years ago

PAT testing must have become very profitable because when I worked for a frim who had a subsidiary that did PAT and fire extinguishers and the like they bemoaned the fact that all they got was about £1.50 an item. Granted that was probably over 10 years ago and maybe the rate on a small house is different to the local Town Hall?

On quality of certification the same applies to gas but what matters is doing the decent thing and having the piece of paper on file.

Same with an MoT car might conk out the next day, it's just a statement of road worthiness (or not) on a single day. Just as a balance sheet only tells you the financial health of a company on a single trading day.

15C is for pipes and to prevent freezing Ray, nothing to do with condensation which as you say is about warm moist air hitting colder surfaces

by Sian Hemming-Metcalfe, MARLA (INV)

17:27 PM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 years ago

From a very selfish point of view I wish landlords WOULD have the heating on at the minimum level; do you have any idea how cold it can be completing inventories in properties that you can see your breath in???! 🙂

by Ray Davison

20:40 PM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "02/04/2014 - 14:20":

That is exactly my point, for £1.50 or even £5 how many electricians do you know that will pull an oven out - that more often than not is thick in grease because the tenants have not cleaned it in the 2 years they have been there - take the plug apart then check the wiring, put the plug back together and reinstall the oven? They just don't do it, they just put a sticker on the face of the oven (it should be on the plug).It's not like an MOT at all because at least your car gets tested on the day whereas the oven does not. And I do not think it matters a jot having a certificate, what matters is that you know it is safe and these cut price inspections and PAT test just lull you into complacency. I would argue that our properties are much safer electrically without a certificate than many I come across which do have a certificate because we know what we are doing and get professional work done when needed.

15C to stop pipes freezing? - you're having a laugh! It's unlikely the pipes will even freeze to the point of bursting without it being at 0C for an extended period.

by Ray Davison

20:43 PM, 2nd April 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sian Hemming-Metcalfe, MAPIP" at "02/04/2014 - 17:27":

Sian,
I know your comment was tongue in cheek - it's a hard life isn't it?!!!


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