Landlords have a legal duty to provide a safe home for their tenants. Landlords should ensure their rental property is well-maintained and they must repair defects or damage to the home in a timely manner.
But sometimes accidents do happen in a rental property – in fact, most accidents in the UK occur in the home, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Landlord liability insurance can cover landlords, should a tenant, contractor, visitor or another third party suffers an injury at your property that you may be liable for.
Landlord liability insurance can cover various types of claims, such as bodily injury or property damage caused by a landlord’s negligence or failure to maintain the rental property in a safe and habitable condition.
Find out more about landlord liability cover, what it covers, and when a landlord may need liability cover.
What is landlord liability insurance?
Liability insurance protects you in the event of a potential compensation claim made by tenants, a visitor or tradesperson relating to your rental property.
This could be anything from a loose carpet causing someone to trip, or a ceiling tile falling and damaging tenants’ belongings.
Landlord liability insurance may help with a range of legal expenses as it is there for compensation costs and legal fees for an insured event.
What does landlord liability insurance cover?
Policies differ, but landlord liability insurance as part of a landlord insurance policy may cover:
Legal liability as occupier or landlord – for your legal liability as a result of your actions if you are or had been the property occupier for an insured amount you become legally liable to pay as damages for:
caused by an accident happening in the property at the premises during the period of insurance.
Landlord liability insurance is often included as part of a comprehensive landlord insurance policy. It’s important to review the specific policy terms and conditions to understand what is and isn’t covered.
Why do I need landlord liability insurance?
Legal costs associated with a negligence claim against you can be expensive and if a compensation claim against you is successful, the amount owed could cause you substantial financial difficulties.
Landlord liability insurance can help to provide peace of mind for landlords as, in the event of a successful claim, related compensation, expenses and legal fees, can be paid up to the limit of the policy.
What is a landlord’s duty of care?
landlord, as a landlord, you are legally obliged to provide a safe home for your tenants and are responsible for keeping the property in good repair.
You must take all reasonable care to limit any loss, damage or injury to ensure your insurance policy is valid as well as keeping your tenants safe.
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into force in 2019 and means landlords must make sure that their rental property is, as the name suggests, ‘fit for human habitation’.
Introduced in a bid to combat rogue landlords and strengthen tenants’ powers against the minority of landlords who do not fulfil their legal obligation, the Act means if a landlord fails to keep their property free of hazards, tenants may have the right to take court action.
In addition, the Defective Premises Act 1972 sets out the legal obligation landlords have to prevent tenants, those living at the property and visitors from sustaining injury or damage to their property caused by a landlord’s failure to maintain or repair their property.
As well as being important for the safety of your tenants and any visitors, neglecting to repair or maintain the property in good condition may void your landlord insurance claim.
What are a landlord’s repair responsibilities?
Sometimes called ‘Section 11 repairs’ because they come from Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords are responsible for the following repairs in the rental property:
- Sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains
- The structure and exterior of your home, including walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows