13 Mar

Insurance

In London the rain has at last stopped! The inclement weather has exposed a number of defects in buildings including leaking guttering, roofs, windows, terraces and rainwater stacks. All fairly dull but essential components of any house or property that forms part of a block of apartments. As a landlord (or indeed any property owner) you should check carefully the condition and function of these items in addition to the internal plumbing. We have recently seen insurers impose harsh and in some cases’ exorbitant excesses on insurance claims involving escape of water and consequential damage, thus exposing leaseholders to potentially thousands of pounds of liability which is not covered by insurance. I strongly advise clients to authorise regular checks of internal fixtures (bathrooms and kitchens) and encourage tenants to report immediately any leaks, no matter how minor (small leaks have a nasty habit of suddenly becoming floods!). Secondly, check that you have adequate insurance. In a block of apartments the building insurance will normally be arranged by the freeholder or their managing agent. However, contents insurance is down to the individual leaseholder and unless you have authorised it or arranged it you will probably not have any cover in place. Particular attention must be paid to rented property where specialist policies tailored to let property are available. Good preventative maintenance combined with proper insurance cover are essential to maintain your property investment and in the long run, are cheaper than having to deal with the cost and consequences of poor maintenance and lack of insurance cover.

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