An insurance claim that could result in a multimillion pound pay out highlights why landlords need public liability cover.
Landlord insurer Total Landlord Insurance is dealing with the compensation claim after a visitor to a rented home slipped and fell down a flight of stairs.
The tenant claimed the steps were “not fit for purpose” and the accident was the landlord’s fault.
Because of the person’s young age and nature of the injuries, the pay out is likely to be substantial, says the insurer.
Compensation for injury claims takes care costs and future loss of earnings in to account.
“If the landlord is found legally liable as a result of negligence, the cost of the claim is likely to escalate into several millions including ongoing care and loss of potential earnings,” says Eddie Hooker, chief executive of Total Landlord Insurance.
“Accidents are often unavoidable, but if a landlord is found to be responsible he is liable for legal costs and compensation. Without adequate insurance in place this can be a crushing financial blow.”
Total Landlord Insurance says that public liability payouts for accidents in rented houses has cost them £1.7 million over the past two years. The claims are often for a slip, trip or fall in buy-to-let properties or houses in multiple occupation (HMO).
Public liability insurance covers the legal fees and any compensation if a landlord loses a claim.
The cover is generally included in standard landlord insurance policies, but this is not always the case, so landlords should check the level of cover they have.
“Without insurance, this landlord would have been responsible for all costs associated with this incident,” said Hooker.
“The case should be a stark reminder to landlords who inadvertently cut corners regarding property insurance and maintenance.”