Public liability insurance is a must have for all landlords

Published: 26/02/2013

A week or so back, following a spate of freezing conditions and the threat of burst water pipes; we highlighted the importance of having adequate landlord insurance. However recent figures from Total Landlord Insurance have stressed how essential specialist cover really is for all landlords after public liability claims received by the insurer have reached an estimated £1.7million.

When letting out property the landlord is, by law, obliged to provide a safe environment for their tenants. Should the landlord neglect their legal duty and an accident occur, they could face a costly public liability claim.

In a current case from Total Landlord Insurance the guest of a tenant was injured following a fall on a set of stairs which the tenant claims were not ‘fit for purpose’. The case is ongoing. However should the landlord be found negligent the claim could escalate to several million due to the young age of the claimant, the cost of ongoing care and the loss of potential earnings.

The landlord in question, however, has public liability insurance in place and so, whatever the outcome, is covered for any damages as well as all legal costs which could cost hundreds of thousands alone.

GW LET Lawyer Rob Denman comments:

“Taking out landlord insurance to protect against damage to the property is one thing but this is a whole different ball park.

“Without public liability insurance the landlord would be liable for the entirety of the claim which, given the projected costs, could not only see him losing his buy to let investment but also his own home and additional assets.

“It is our professional advice that all landlords ensure they have sufficient protection in place to minimise the financial risk of public liability claims. Landlords should also undertake regular checks of their property in order to make sure it is properly maintained and safe for tenants.”

Content correct at time of publication

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