We all know that effective property insurance is essential when renting out a property to tenants in houses of multiple occupation (HMOs). What most people don’t realise however, is how easy it can be to invalidate your insurance.
Something as simple as arranging regular checks and maintenance can ensure that you remain completely covered by your landlord property insurance.
Within the context of harsher attitudes to fire safety measures and emergency strategies, as well as changing legislation, it’s essential that you keep up to date with the requirements necessary to keep your property covered.
Landlords and managing agents of properties that house multiple tenants must be aware of their current obligations under UK law to uphold fire and emergency safety standards.
This includes regular testing of smoke alarms, gas supply, electric wiring and appliances by licensed electricians and gas safe engineers. Many buildings are already fitted with fire alarms, but over time these can deteriorate, or batteries can deplete, resulting in a lack of adequate fire detection equipment.
Home wiring and appliances can also be damaged over the course of multiple tenancies, and could result in a risk to the safety of your current tenants.
To avoid invalidating your landlord insurance you must ensure that fire detectors on each floor are in full working order at the start of each tenancy and that all appliances provided to the house are safe to use.
According to the Regulatory Reform Order 2005, those responsible for a property must also perform fire risk assessments to check that the property has adequate escape routes. In situations where there are multiple stories, dark staircases or hallways, providing emergency lighting is necessary to meet this requirement.
Also, furniture and fittings should not increase the risk of fire or present a barrier against escape during an emergency.
Having regular checks of these requirements, such as scheduled emergency lighting checks by a licensed electrician, will make sure your landlord insurance stays valid.
If you are still unsure about your responsibilities or require third party property maintenance services to assist you in regular checks and maintenance, employ qualified home maintenance services to perform scheduled checks on your behalf.
- Keep your property safe for tenants, including the fitting of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
- Make sure that all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained
- Obtain the necessary energy performance, gas safety and electrical compliance certificates for the property and provide a copy to the tenant
- Understand the terms and conditions of your landlord insurance policy
If you want to learn more about any of these issues, get in touch with Bright Contractors and we’ll happily perform a full assessment of your premises to make sure you’re insurance remains valid.
Landlord insurance is designed for property owners who rent their properties to tenants, whether this is an individual or group of people. This coverage will offer landlords peace of mind when it comes to renting and avoiding potential financial liabilities.
Depending on your insurance type, your landlord insurance will cover you for financial losses relating to various scenarios.
- Weather damage
- Unpaid rent
- Property damage from tenants
To ensure that you remain covered, make sure that your property meets the necessary standards for fire, gas and electric safety otherwise you may end up invalidating your insurance.