Landlord insurance, compliance and reputation.
How would a fire or accident affect my liability or reputation?
Our corporate and institutional clients ask about these issues a lot. Most letting markets are quite small ecosystems and landlords are aware that they carry certain responsibilities. Landlords want to know that risks are being mitigated.
Our response splits into insurance, compliance and day-to-day behaviour.
Every landlord needs public liability insurance. This is why you need specific landlord insurance that combines buildings, public liability and often legal insurance. So if the unthinkable happens – for example, a tenant trips on a carpet and sustains an injury – then you are covered.
Accurate compliance is a big part of risk mitigation.
1. Gas – an annual inspection is compulsory by law.
2. Electrical safety – this is (amazingly) not compulsory, but it should be. A fixed wiring test lasts for five years and is worth every penny.
3. Fire – furniture needs to pass regulations.
4. Smoke and CO detectors -mandatory in all rental properties.
5. HMOs – these have their own Health and Safety requirements. Check with your local authority.
Day-to-day behaviour by landlord and agent influences reputation, for example:
1. Attitude to repairs – delaying repairs causes negative word-of-mouth.
2. Noise – noisy tenants can create serious reputational damage for landlords. Our Property Managers tackle noise issues immediately.
3. Disrepair – damaged and excessively messy properties are bad for your reputation, e.g. when bins are allowed to get out of control. Our Property Managers carry out thorough inspections and respond to neighbour complaints.
Allowing people to live in your properties in exchange for rent is not without risks, but we are here to mitigate and manage the risks for you. Strong policies, robust systems and large quantities of common sense help us tackle the issues as they arise.
This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our book: Landlord Intelligence.