Honourable and personal residential letting experts

16Mar

Protection: would you drive without a seat belt?

Protection while driving:

there are some of us out there that remember the days when we were encouraged to ‘clunk clink on every trip’. Nowadays it is second nature- in fact some cars don’t let you drive away without having a belt engaged. Some would say that the chances of having an accident are so rare because they are very careful drivers, so really you don’t need the protection; some would say regardless of how careful they drive, they want the protection because you can’t control others.

Which brings me to the point of this blog. Are you happy to take the chance that your tenant pays their rent? If they don’t are you confident that you have the cover to gain possession and be paid outstanding rental? The rental landscape has changed over the last few years. Whereas we have not seen a change in the number of delayed payments, we have seen a change in the cost to the landlord when things go wrong.

Protection in lettings:

landlord legal expenses and rent protection insurance is the lettings equivalent of a seatbelt. Not needed most of the time, but when it is needed, it is essential. Can you afford to take the risk of driving without a seatbelt for just £0.49 a day?

Case Study

How a landlord saved over £12,000 and gained possession

Tenants moved into the property in 2016 and there were no issues until the covid pandemic hit. In February 2021 the tenants left the country advising that they had the full intention of returning once they could get back into the UK. To protect the landlord, we lodged a ‘potential claim’ with our broker in case the tenant did not honour their agreement.

By April 2021 the rent was 3 months outstanding, but due to very good past relationships the landlord felt that the assurances we were receiving from the tenant about payment were sincere. At the four month stage we all agreed that
something had to be done. We lodged an official claim which started the ball rolling.

Section 8 and 21 notices were issued. Once the tenants failed to leave on the agreed date, a court date for a hearing for the section 8 was set. At this point the landlord received the back rental due and the focus now changed to getting the property back. Due to the delay in the court date and instructing bailiffs, we did not gain possession until January 2021.

Without cover the bill for the solicitor would have been almost £3,000 and the loss of rent would have been almost £10,000. Without our support to manage the claim, the 60 hours of liaising phone calls between us the tenant, landlord, solicitor and insurer would have to have been carried out by the landlord.

The last two years have taught us a lot. Most occasions, a lack of rental payment is down to a change in the tenants’ circumstances. However, your bills still need to be paid and most of us cannot afford to let things ride, we’re usually relying on that rent.

There is now a concern that with the increase cost of living and heating some tenants may fall behind paying the rental. So the question is whether you can afford to drive without a seat belt for 49p a day…

Maxine Lester lettings landlord insurance protection policy

What should I look for in my policy?

During 2020, a majority of insurers reduced the cover they were willing to give – in most cases the rent guarantee element was either reduced or removed. Admittedly the price of cover also reduced.

Therefore, the first thing you need to be aware of is what the renewal of a policy held in 2020 now covers.

There are two main elements of cover under most Landlord insurances:

  • a guarantee to cover lost rent – some of which may have excesses to take into consideration
  • and to cover legal expenses should this be required.

There are also some polices that will cover loss of rent due to malicious damage by the tenant and some that cover damage by pets. So when you consider getting ‘landlord insurance’ cover you need to make sure the cover that you buy is correct for you.

We are not an insurance broker and therefore cannot advise you on cover but can point you in the right direction if you have any queries.

Legal expenses and rent protection available to our landlords

Including the following key benefits:

  • Pay your rent (up to £2,500 per month) for up to 12 months when tenants do not (£25,000 maximium)
  • £100,000 Legal Expenses any one claim for Property Owners Legal Disputes; Legal cover for any breach of the tenancy; Repair and Renovation Disputes; Health & Safety Prosecutions; Tenant Eviction; Tax investigations

This is available under our policy to landlords for for just £11.50 per month or £124.20 when paid annually. It is only available where we manage the property.

Click here to find out more