Buying a property is an investment – and it can be a particularly good one if you make the right choice. If you’re looking for or are already the owner of a property that you rent out to students, you’re likely to experience an excellent return on investment throughout the ownership.
However, maintaining and giving students an incentive to choose your rental property over the thousands of other student houses available is tricky business. One thing that will make that all easier is investing in student landlord insurance. Being a property owner doesn’t have to be a difficult experience, but without the right insurance in place and an appropriate bill-splitting system, you might find yourself tearing your hair out.
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Find out why it is important to invest in student landlord insurance.
Read about what is usually covered under student landlord insurance, as well as added benefits that might be useful to you.
Read our guide to the different options of student landlord insurance available.
Find out how the cost of insurance cover for student housing compares to insurance for normal tenancies, and how you can reduce your premium.
Find out how using a bill-splitting service can leave you with less responsibility and more time for important duties.
It is likely that you will spend a fair amount of money renovating your student rental. However, it is possible that at the end of a tenancy agreement, you may find unexpected damage and need for repairs. Whilst you might expect to simply do a few paint touch-ups, pay for a deep clean and maybe upgrade a few smaller aspects of the house, you may find that the furnishings are damaged beyond repair. There may also be damage to the building too. The deposit taken for the property won’t cover the damages, so student landlord insurance can prevent you from having to foot the bill yourself before the new lot of student tenants move in.
As well as covering the usual general risks that can occur within a household – fire and storm damage, damage to the building – these policies also have added benefits that might be useful to you as a landlord. The best student landlord insurance policies also offer accidental damage cover, and claims can be made in circumstances where the tenants living within your student rental damage the property unintentionally. It’s fair to say that not every tenant has the landlord’s best interests in mind, so most student landlord insurance policies also offer malicious damage cover – meaning that any damage caused by an aggrieved tenant can be covered by the insurance company.
Student landlord insurance can also include property owner’s liability insurance as an extra, meaning that if any of your tenants are injured as a result of damages to the property, then you would have additional support. Some policies also cover unoccupied property cover if you find your property is unoccupied for a large period of time and you aren’t receiving a rental income. Similarly, loss of rent if your tenants default on payments can also be covered by student landlord insurance.
There are a number of different levels of coverage available, and you can build up your landlord insurance policy based on your own needs and requirements.
This typically provides property insurance cover for loss or damage caused to your property itself and may offer a pay-out if your building is damaged due to flood or fire, for example. Some buildings insurance policies will also cover damage caused by tenants.
Contents insurance policies can cover things such as damage to fixtures and fittings that aren’t part of the building. For example, as long as they are all free-standing items of furniture, you’ll be covered for ovens, fridges, washing machines, beds and sofas. However, it can also protect you against damage to floorings such as carpet and laminate. Some policies may even cover alternative accommodation for tenants.
Landlord portfolio insurance is useful for landlords who own multiple properties and would like to cover them all on a single insurance policy rather than individual ones.
Home emergency cover protects landlords from unexpected costs such as lost keys, plumbing and heating system problems, pest infestations, domestic power supply issues and drain and sewer blockages, amongst other things.
Student landlord insurance also covers any legal fees you may incur if you choose to use legal proceedings to recover rent or money owed due to tenant damage to the property or furnishings. Without student landlord insurance, fees such as these would be completely up to yourself to pay and finance – an unnecessary cost that can be easily rectified with the right monthly student landlord insurance premium covering your property and the items inside it.
While it is possible to find a student landlord insurance quote on comparison websites, the complexities of this type of insurance mean you may find it more beneficial to seek the advice of an insurance broker. Popular student landlord insurers include Endsleigh and Towergate Insurance.
As well as your personal details and information about your property portfolio, you’ll need to ensure you’ve already decided on the level of cover you require. Use the information above to help you determine which policy is the best fit for you.
If you’re renting out to students, you’ll need to bear in mind that your insurance policy will be more expensive. This is because students’ lack of income – or low level of income – means they are considered a greater risk to insurers. However, there are some things that can be done to lower the cost of your premium while ensuring you still have the right level of cover from your insurance provider.
Increasing the condition of your property by carrying out essential repairs and upgrades can reduce your premium – particularly if the property is in especially good repair. You can also ensure that you install adequate security systems, giving you a reduced chance that you’ll need to claim on your insurance and consequently lowering the costs of the policy.
If you’ve made a number of claims on your insurance over the years, you may find that your policy price increases as a result. Ensure you consider your excess when making claims and only make claims when necessary to avoid an increase in your premium going forward.
Having multiple tenants can be chaotic, especially if some are more organised than others. A service like Split the Bills sets up the utilities on your behalf, pays the bill and then takes a ‘split’ of the bill from each tenant. No chasing individual tenants, no arguments and absolutely no worries that the bills are going unpaid.
Find out more about how Split the Bills can help you here.
Most insurers recognise that having students as tenants can bring particular risks, and some won’t cover you at all if your tenants are students. Therefore, it’s important that you don’t take out generic landlord insurance; otherwise, you may not be covered in the event of a claim. You also have more obligations and responsibilities as a student landlord, so having the right policy is vital.
Landlord insurance is not compulsory, but if you are renting out a property to students (or any type of tenant), you will want to be protected should anything go wrong.
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