Do I need landlord insurance if renting to family? In general the answer is yes you do or you risk being without cover if something goes wrong.
It is no suprise that with a property market defined by high rents and increasingly unaffordable house prices there are plenty of tenants in the UK renting from family. A recent survey revealed there are currently 730,000 parent landlords in Britain.
Parent landlords are the most common as it is a logical decision that parents invest savings in the relatively low-risk asset class of property to save their children money.
Any rent paid stays within the family while the capital value of property (providing all is well in the property market) should continue to climb.
But it is that very investment that is at risk if you decide you don’t need landlord insurance when renting to family.
Do I Need Landlord Insurance if Renting to Family? Here’s When You Do
If you are not resident at the property then your standard home insurance is not enough.
At the same time, if you are charging family rent then legally you are their landlord. That includes if its only a token rent or “what they can afford when they can afford it.” In fact, you may have obligations even if you aren’t charging rent; the fact that you are providing accommodation can mean that by law or under local authority regulations you may still have to meet certain requirements (for example, getting boilers or appliances serviced).
Most importantly though, you need cover for a property that you aren’t living in, whatever the financial arrangement. That’s where landlord insurance comes in.
If something happens to the property – from a burglary to complete destruction by fire – an insurer may refuse to pay out on a claim if you only had standard home insurance and were letting it out.
That’s because an insurer needs to know the full details of the property and the people living there in order to accurately assess risk and charge you the correct premium.
A home that you do not live in but other people live in – even if they are related to you – will have a different risk profile than your own home that you do live in. This will also be the case if you had previously lived in the property and moved out (perhaps for your child’s family) – you will need to notify your insurer about the change in circumstances and then you may need a new policy to cover the landlord situation. If this is your situation, if you buy a landlord policy with Emerald, we will give you 15% of your next main residence home insurance!
Neither home insurance nor landlord insurance are actually legal requirements. However, if you have bought a buy-to-let property with a mortgage then your lender may require you to have adequate buildings insurance in place – regardless of whether you are renting to family or not.
If you are renting out the property then adequate buildings insurance will have to be a landlord insurance policy and not a standard home insurance policy.
After that, there are many advantages to a landlord insurance policy besides what’s necessary to protect financial interests in the property.
Landlord Liability Insurance
If someone is injured on your property and decides to sue you for damages then landlord liability insurance could help with your fees and any damages that you need to pay.
Now it’s unlikely – though not impossible – that a family member would sue you after an accident. But family members won’t be the only people on the property.
Guests, tradesmen and others all have an opportunity to sustain injury when at the home.
What’s more is that even passersby fall into the same category. What if a roof tile fell and hit someone – or damaged their new sports car. Both those instances could give rise to a lawsuit.
Again, the property owner’s liability insurance included in most home insurance policies probably won’t pay out if the insurer was not aware that you were letting out the property. And remember that letting out the property includes receiving rent payments and not being present in the property yourself.
Landlord Contents Insurance For Family
If you are helping a relative out by letting out a property to them, you are probably going to help them out with furnishing the place too.
Equally if you move somewhere else and are letting out the old family home to relatives you may have quite a lot of possessions there.
Any possessions you own in a let property fall under landlord contents. Landlord contents insurance means if there is a loss such as a fire, flood or burglary, your possessions can be replaced with a claim.
Strictly speaking, if your tenants had their own contents insurance, that would not cover items that you own as landlord.
On the other hand you might not think you have many possessions in the property. But you may be suprised. Landlord contents cover can include items like furniture, carpets, curtains, white goods, kitchen tools and garden ornaments that may all add up to quite a high figure.
But if you’re concerned about the extra effort and costs to get landlord contents insurance you can relax. At Emerald Life we offer £5000 of landlord contents free but we can go higher than that of course to make sure you have the cover you want and need.
So if you’re still wondering do I need landlord insurance if renting to family then the answer is that while not essential it is highly advisable.
My Family Tenant Is A Student. Can I Get Cover?
Yes, we do provide student landlord insurance. Some insurers may not though.
Do I Need Landlord Insurance And Home Insurance?
Generally landlord insurance should replace home insurance and so you don’t need both. However, landlord insurance does not cover tenants’ contents and so your tenants should consider their own contents insurance policy.
What Insurance Do I Need As A Landlord UK?
Landlord insurance is not a legal requirement but offers some great benefits such as buildings insurance, property owner’s liability cover and cover for lost rent.