What is Landlord Liability?
Landlord Liability is often referred to as Public Liability or Property Owners Liability if you are a Landlord of Buy to Let Residential Property with a tenant on a 6 month assured Short-term tenancy, or a Landlord of Commercial Property, where you may lease your building out longer terms to a typical High Street trade or office block, for example. When you buy a Property Owners Insurance Policy, which is essentially the term given by insurers for both commercial and residential property owners, within the various perils covered, landlord liability is also included within the Landlord Cover on your policy.
Essentially, this covers the Landlord for damages or costs in the event of a member of the public being injured whilst on your premises, or even being linked in some way to your premises. It also provides cover for third party property damage. In many way this is the most important cover you can buy, in terms of the potential financial damage it can cost a property owner. Landlord Liability is a must have!
Where do get landlord liability insurance from?
Simple. Contact an insurance broker and this cover will be packaged with the Landlord Cover of your Property Owners policy – for both commercial property landlord insurance or residential property landlords. All you need to check is the amount you are cover for!
Examples of landlord liability claim
We can look at 2 different cases of landlord liability claims. Both of these cases are actual real incidents, that occurred with Property Insurance Centre. We have changed the customers names for confidentiality. Both were on a residential landlord policy.
- Injury to a member of the public – This is one that members of the public are most familiar with. These are so common, that there are Solicitors making a good career on taking on these claims for their clients, and winning!
- Third party property damage
Injury to a member of the Public
Imran was a Landlord of a Residential Property. His tenant was visually impaired and was a new tenant. Imran again was very good landlord and always looked after his tenants well. Knowing that his new tenant was visually impaired, he visited the tenant on his first day at the premises, to let him know he would be well looked after and was always there if he needed anything at all. He showed the tenant the boiler and how it could be started if the pay as you go meter ran low – certain things that only someone familiar with the property would know.
Imran left the premises, and on his was out noticed some condensation on the window and opened it to get some air in the property. Imran informed the tenant of what he has done and left. The following day, Imran was contacted by the Police – there has been an accident at the premises! Tragically, the tenant has got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and walked intro the wrong room. He pushed the window that the landlord had left open (which was large at opened at knee height), thinking it was the toilet door and fell through the window, 2 stories to the ground below. The tenant was badly hurt and needed round the clock care for many months after the incident. Fortunately he did make a full recovery.
Imran for all of his good intent, was found to be negligent. His Insurance policy had landlord liability cover up to £2,000,000, and his insurer paid out. This case is particular important – Imran was a fantastic landlord and quite simply could not do enough for his tenants, but he was still negligent and needed his landlord cover to help him. This is one of the benefits of purchasing a residential landlord policy.
Third Party Property Damage
Frank was a new customer of Property Insurance Centre. He went online and and searched for ‘Landlord Insurance NI’, and he gave us a call. He was a landlord with numerous residential property, and knew what sort of cover he wanted. Frank specifically requested £5,000,000 Landlord Liability, and this was added at no extra cost. During the year (roughly 6 months in to the policy), we were contacted by the customer. His neighbour had contacted him to advise that oil has escaped from Frank’s Oil Tank at the side of his house, and was getting into his neighbour’s property, causing considerable damage. Frank had no idea this was happening, after all he was simply the landlord and lived at the other side of the city. He was a responsible landlord, fulfilled his obligations where he could, but the leak was occurring from the underside of the tank underground(which was only a few years old), and there was no way this could have been noticed until it was too late.
The third party (next door neighbour) went to solicitor and started the claim process. The solicitor alleged Frank had been ‘negligent’. After a long process, Frank’s insurers & their legal team argued that there was no claim to answer, and Frank could not be deemed negligent as he could not have seen this damage occurring. Had Frank been deemed negligent, the Insurer would have had to pay out for the damage to the next door neighbour’s garden and beyond. It is important to note that damage to 3rd parties under landlord liability insurance, depends on the insured being considered negligent. This is a case where the insurer’s legal team, which is part of the cover afforded under landlords liability section on his landlord cover, argued on behalf of Frank and won. If Frank didn’t have that cover, well he’s off to find his own representation at a cost to his own pocket. Another reason to get the correct Landlord Cover and be covered in any event for third party property damage if you are a residential landlord.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Property Insurance Centre can provide cover for Home Insurance, Unoccupied Homes Insurance, Landlord Liability on a residential landlord policy, Landlord cover, Commercial Property Insurance and everything in between! We are property specialists. Give us a call on 0800 085 3761 to see how we can help you and save you money!