Anyone thinking of becoming a landlord and taking in tenants must think, primarily, about protecting themselves against the many pitfalls that can occur. There are many forms of insurance that can help with this, and there are lots of checks that you can carry out on prospective tenants to ensure that they are of decent character.
Tenant reference checks should be the first thing a landlord carries out.
A basic check carried out by a third party can be purchased for as little as £8; and it is priceless in the amount of reassurance that it can offer. Spend about £5 more and you can get checks against the electoral roll, other landlords, current employers, a credit check against up to 4 addresses; you can also get a check against their ability to meet the rent on time. There really is no excuse for not doing this most basic of tasks when you are entrusting your property and potentially your livelihood to a tenant.
There are also a variety of insurance products to cover all eventualities, and many of them should help to make your property more attractive to tenants.
No Deposit Insurance is one such product, as for all parties it helps smooth the path towards renting – landlords can accept tenants without a deposit, and tenants won’t need to provide one either, which is a win-win for both sides. No Deposit Insurance is bought by tenants who cannot initially cover their first months deposit – it comes at no cost to the landlord so if you are having difficulties finding tenants this should be suggested to help get them in.
A product which should also be considered is legal expenses insurance – you can never tell when things are going to take a turn for the worse and should you need legal counsel, there is a massive amount of relief gained from knowing you are covered. As little as £30 a year should get you around £25,000 worth of cover. This would usually cover eviction proceedings, pursuing late rent, and breach of tenancy agreements at the very least.
There are many other obvious insurance packages that you should take as a matter of course, such as building insurance, or if you are a tenant, contents insurance.
Products such as those detailed above are less obvious however, and every landlord should take the time to discover exactly what packages are available to them. This is of particular importance when you own multiple properties that you are thinking of putting up for rent, as many of these packages can be combined to cover all of the properties concerned.
Dan Mayman owns buy-to-let properties across the North East and he wrote this article on landlord insurance on behalf of www.letinsure.co.uk