Avoid Insurance Claims And Local Authority Crackdowns

Avoid Insurance Claims And Local Authority Crackdowns- Maintain Rental Properties

Avoid Insurance Claims And Local Authority Crackdowns – Maintain Rental Properties

Landlords Need To Step Up Maintenance
Of Rental Properties To Improve Safety

There have been numerous reports in the national press about landlords being prosecuted by local authorities for failing to keep their rental properties maintained to a safe, decent and habitable standard.

Many of these prosecuted landlords never bothered to comply with their legal requirements regarding the safety of tenants living in their rental properties and could have avoided prosecution if they had taken immediate action on property repairs and maintenance.

Some of the landlord prosecutions could have been avoided if the landlord had bothered with landlords insurance when they purchased the property, but some fools still see this as an additional and unwanted expense rather than the asset safeguard that it is.

The UK has seen £17.4 million (GBP) extra added to the cost of property insurance because of claims for accidental but potentially avoidable incidents, according to research by comparison website MoneySupermarket.

The analysis of 3.6 million UK property insurance quotes reveals that out of 13 potential reasons for making an insurance claim, 78% of claims impacting on more than half a million properties each year are for:

  • Accident
  • Escape Of Water
  • Storm Damage And Flood
  • Fire
  • Theft

Some landlords are more concerned about damage done to rental properties by tenants, as it means the landlord will have to pay for repairs out of their own pocket or face claiming on their landlord insurance policy.

This could be further compounded with local authority involvement in the private rented sector (PRS) as tenants can make formal complaints to them if they feel that the landlord isn’t maintaining their rented home properly, landing the landlord in a lot of trouble.

The best method of avoiding making an insurance claim or a local authority crackdown is for landlords to keep on top of rental property repairs and take immediate action if problems are reported by tenants.

It is important for landlords conduct regular maintenance checks in order to keep rental properties safe to live in at all times, as they need to comply with government legislation and local authority regulations in order to avoid prosecution. This also benefits tenants and their possessions, which should be covered by their own personal tenant contents insurance policy, as they will want to reside in a well cared for rental property for much longer than the national average of 21 months.

Rental properties are legally required to be fitted with smoke alarms on each dwelling level and houses of multiple occupation (HMO’s) must adhere to even stricter fire preventative measures such as the installation of fire doors and fire extinguishers.

If the rental property is in an area that is prone to flooding then landlords need to take extra precautions to prevent water damage, such as supplying sandbags to prevent water ingress and advising tenants as to when they will need to use them should the worst happen.

Landlords should also ensure that the property is covered by a landlord insurance policy that will pay out for flooding and water damage.

Suffering a burglary at a rental property can not only cost the landlord money for repairs but it can also lead to tenants feeling potentially unsafe in the property.

Landlords could face repair costs for just a broken window or door lock, or the property could be completely trashed and thousands of pounds worth of damage caused. Either way, the police should be informed as soon as possible in order to find out if the thieves broke in or if the tenants left the property vulnerable before an insurance claim is made.

Most burglars are opportunistic thieves, many thefts happen in the summer when people leave windows and back doors open, especially if expensive items such as laptops or iPods are left on display so tenants should be made aware of what to do to keep the property safe even when they are in the property.

Landlords look can take steps to improve the safety and security of their rental properties by installing double glazing, multipoint door locks or alarms to deter thieves and protect your tenants’ contents.

Rental property repairs should be undertaken immediately and landlords can avoid further problems by having professional periodic inspections of the property’s structure in order to make sure nothing is starting to rot or wear down.

Keeping rental properties safe to live in will save landlords time and money in the long-run, however unless tenants look after the rental property too, these efforts could be in vain, so landlords should make sure tenants are aware of their property and garden maintenance responsibilities and property safety and should also make it clear to tenants that if damage to the property is caused by their neglect they will have to pay out.