What is malicious damage insurance?
How do I know the difference between accidental and malicious damage?
Accidents do happen and it would be fair to assume that every property will become damaged at some point. When it does – how will you know if the damage is accidental or malicious?
Unexpected or sudden damage such as tenants spilling a glass of wine on the carpet would fall under accidental damage. But, incidents happening through anger or spite. Which you should feel strongly enough to report to the police such as fixtures and fittings which are ripped out and removed are likely to be malicious. The decision will come down to your insurance company. Any claim would be subject to the terms and conditions of your policy being met.
My tenants have left and destroyed my property – what should I do?
All incidents of malicious damage should be reported to the police. Providing you with a crime reference number. You will need this for your insurance company before you do anything else. The next step would be to report the incident to your Insurance Company or broker who will tell you what to do next. Photographs should be taken as soon as possible to document the damage and make sure that they are date stamped.
Often in cases of malicious damage, your insurance provider will assign a loss adjuster from an independent claims specialist, to visit your property and assess the situation. You will be asked to get quotations for the damage, repairs and lost replacement. Any works which need to be undertaken to ensure the safety and security of the premises should be carried out immediately. It is important that you provide your Insurance company with as much information as is possible.
Reduce the risk of housing nightmare tenants
Before any tenancy agreement, it would be wise to consider what you need from your tenants and your letting agent. Whilst it may be satisfactory to get references it is now illegal to give any one person a bad reference. It would thus be much more important to get some form of guarantor for your tenants to ensure that you always have somebody to speak to. If there is a problem and/or revert back to and be responsible for in the event that there is an issue. This is becoming more standard across the letting industry. Most tenants are able to provide this.
You should not allow the tenant into occupation until the first month’s rent deposit payment has cleared in your account or the managing agents’ bank account.
Once you have the tenant in situ. You or the managing agent on your behalf should carry out internal and external inspections to the building at least every three months or as printed on the tenancy agreement. Records should be carried out and the document retained for at least two to three years.
Every insurance company is different. It is important to be aware of your responsibility as a landlord by checking the terms and conditions of the policy carefully. Failure to do so may result in the claim being rejected and leaving you to pick up the bill. Speak to us about any information you may need on this.
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