Landlord insurance is vital for anyone renting out a property, but it may come as a surprise to learn that malicious damage is in the top three categories of insurance claims by landlords. A report by TLI analyzing claims over the past two years has revealed that claims made for malicious damage reached £700,000. Sadly, almost all of this sum can be accounted for by malicious damage by tenants.
Despite the relatively common occurrence, many landlords are not carrying this vital insurance cover, as it is not automatically included in their policies. Eddie Hooker, CEO of TLI, said: “Malicious damage is not always covered on standard landlord policies, and those that do [offer this cover], often only protect against malicious damage caused by a third party such as someone putting a brick through the window, not damage caused by the tenant.”
Bearing in mind that malicious damage by tenants can only inconvenience them, or even result in the premature end of the tenancy, malicious damage claims come to more than ten time the total for accidental damage. Not all malicious damage results in a big claim – sometimes it is just a broken window but it can be as serious as a completely trashed property of a serious fire. Student properties are considered to be the highest risk area, not just because students are seen to be rather less conscientious than other types of tenant. The reason that premises leased to students are more at risk of malicious damage is more to do with the fact that the properties are often vacant over long holidays, making them a target for vandals – one example where the tenant is not to blame.
TLI has created a panel of top industry experts – including a representative from the tenant eviction specialists Landlord Action and also from Accomodationforstudents.com – to form a discussion group, initially for a live web TV show, which will air the problems of nightmare tenants, choosing a good tenant, how to protect your property from damage (as opposed to insurance cover, which is also vital) and what to do if you find damage to your property at the end of a tenancy or in a routine check.