As a tenant, you might assume that if anything goes wrong with the home you’re renting, such as damage from storms or flooding, your landlord is responsible for taking care of you – finding you somewhere else to live if the property is uninhabitable and compensating you for any damage to your possessions. After all, they’re insured, aren’t they?
In an ideal world, that might all be true, but the reality can be very different.
Alternative accommodation – who’s responsible for finding and paying for it?
Tenancy agreements usually state that the tenant doesn’t have to pay rent to the landlord if the property is uninhabitable, on the basis that those rental monies can be used to pay for alternative accommodation, which is reasonable.
But, while many landlords have insurance in place to cover the cost of reasonable alternative accommodation (subject to policy terms and conditions) for you, there’s no legal obligation for them to do that or to cover any costs you incur yourself in doing so – even if it was their fault that your home became uninhabitable.
Damage to your possessions
When you rent a property, you should be given a copy of the government’s How to Rent Guide – this is a legal requirement. It states:
Look after the property. Get your landlord’s permission before attempting repairs or decorating. It’s worth getting contents insurance to cover your possessions too, because the landlord’s insurance won’t cover your things.
So, although you may be under the impression that if your possessions are damaged through no fault of your own – e.g. if there’s a water leak and your laptop is ruined – the landlord has to compensate you, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
What if you accidentally damage your landlord’s property?
Most landlord insurance policies will cover them for the cost of repairing any damage you or your friends cause to their property and its contents, but if they can prove the damage was your, or your visitor’s fault, be aware that they could retain the cost from your deposit funds.
Protect yourself with a comprehensive tenant insurance policy
If damage happens to your rented home, you might find yourself liable for the cost of repairing or replacing fittings or furnishings.
That’s why it’s worth considering taking out contents insurance that covers your own belongings and fixtures and fittings, and liability insurance that covers you if you or your visitors accidentally cause any damage to the landlord’s property yourself.
Bode Insurance Solutions’ comprehensive tenant insurance covers:
|May be covered under landlord’s insurance
|Can be covered under Bode tenant insurance
|Accidental damage to landlord’s property
|Damage to tenant’s personal items
|Damage to tenant’s electrical property
|Damage to tenant’s furniture/furnishings
|Theft, fire and burglary cover for tenants