With lockdown restrictions easing and the ban on evictions now ended, Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance is warning landlords of the need to carry out property inspections to ensure the validity of their landlord insurance, should they need to make a claim when their tenants vacate.
Although rare, equating to just five percent of claims to Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance, the average malicious damage claim in 2019 was £5,555 and in 2020 was £3,668.
But if landlords have not carried out a thorough four-point referencing check (15% do not this or do so infrequently) and kept up with regular inspections, they could lose their right to indemnity.
With lockdown restrictions making access to rental properties more difficult over the last 18 months, many landlords have admitted to not carrying out inspections as regularly as they normally would.
Commenting on how this might impact landlords over the next few months, Steve Barnes (pitured), Associate Director at Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance says: “Although rare, when the relationship between landlord and tenant breaks down, particularly if the landlord has asked the tenant to vacate and they do not want to, deliberate damage to a property can be a form of revenge.
“In addition, restricted access to properties has seen a rise in home-grown cannabis farms, another common malicious damage claim.
“The pandemic has undoubtedly made inspections more challenging. Whilst insurers will take this into account, landlords will still be expected to demonstrate that they attempted to access the property, providing detailed and dated records of this, or carried out the inspection virtually.
Now the ban on evictions has lifted, and landlords who have been desperately trying to gain possession of their properties start to make progress, we anticipate a rise in landlord insurance claims.”
Landlords are advised to make sure they have carried out a four-point referencing check which includes formal identification, utility bill or bank statement, credit check and employer’s reference. If an inspection has not been carried out within the last six months, this should be arranged as soon as possible. Read Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance’s comprehensive guide to tenant referencing for more information.
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