What Does Landlord Insurance Cover Me For
Things like damp and mould caused by condensation are very much down to landlords and tenants to resolve. This isbecause it’s considered a maintenance issue and is therefore highly unlikely to be covered by landlord insurance.
If the problems occur because proper maintenance wasn’t carried out and the damp was caused by faults such as holes inthe roof, a leaky gutter or an out-of-date damp-proof course, again it’s unlikely to be covered by insurance.
Insurers have to look at the circumstances of each claim and the cover that’s been chosen. If the property has beenmaintained properly then from a landlord perspective itÃ¢â¬â¢s more likely insurers will pay to get the damp and mould issuesfixed if they’re due to an ingress of water into the property following an insured incident, such as a storm, flood ordamage to drains or underground pipes.
What To Do If Youre A Landlord With Mould Problems
Landlord insurance will also typically exclude mould damage. Whether youre a tenant, a landlord or a homeowner, insurance companies dont want anything to do with mould.
If youve found that a tenants property has damage from mould, you may want to:
- Determine the cause.
- Assess the extent of the damage and take steps to minimise and fix it where possible.
If extensive mould damage was caused by a failure on the part of the tenants, then its safe to say they probably wont be getting their bond back.
If youre a landlord and find that the damage is extensive, you might take legal action to have the tenant cover that damage.
Note that your own obligations as landlords will probably also come under the magnifying glass when you do, and the final verdict will come down to the courts decision.
What Happens If The Insurance Company Doesnt Fix The Mould Problem
If the insurance company accepts the claim, the next question will be how to fix the primary damage and the secondary mould. Insurers will often engage mould remediators to try to get rid of the mould using techniques such as chemicals to remove surface mould and dehumidifiers or blowers to remove airborne mould.
However, we have seen many, many cases where the remediation has not worked and indeed in many cases, it has led to mould spreading. Insurers will be liable for any further damage caused by their agents.
After it is established that mould is present, you must be very careful to limit yourself and your familys exposure to that mould. It is well known that exposure to some types of mould can cause serious health problems. In some cases, this can mean having to leave the home and take up temporary accommodation and put infected contents into secure storage.
Home and contents insurance policies cover temporary accommodation for at least 12 months and storage fees.
The attitude of insurers to mould claims varies a lot. Some will deny claims whilst others will try to cash settle claims, perhaps after unsuccessful attempts to remove mould damage.
If your home suffers from water damage, it is really important to get advice and help from legal and mould insurance experts as soon as possible.
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Winter Home Health Checklist
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How To Get Home Insurance After A Fire
If youve already had a home fire, you can still get home insurance but your insurer will ask you about previous claims you have made. You must be honest otherwise your policy can be declared invalid. After having made a previous claim on your home insurance, you might find that your premiums are higher. Simple measures like the installation of smoke detectors can bring the price down. For owners who have a property to renovate it is also worth investigating unoccupied property insurance to make certain your building is covered while it is empty.
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Causes Of Rising Damp
If a property does not have a DPC within its walls or a damp-proof membrane/DPM beneath its concrete floors, or if such protection layers are compromised perhaps, then the water will climb above the base of the building and gradually lift its true face in the ground floor areas.
Rising damp can sometimes triggered by the bottom floor being elevated, as when a heap of dirt is stacked up against an outside wall, or the area beside the house has been paved.
When the land surface next to the walls is higher, it will serve as a path for soaring groundwater, enabling it to circumvent the DPC. The condition may escalate where there is poor drainage to extract rainwater from the house.
How To File A Claim After Water Damage
Now that you can identify when water damage is covered by your homeowners insurance, its imperative that you contact your insurer as soon as possible once you discover water damage in your home. You should take pictures of the affected area and everything that was damaged, as well as where the water came from, such as a burst pipe or hole in the roof.
If you have pictures from before the incident, find them so you can show the adjuster what the area looked like before being damaged. Pictures are especially useful if mold develops in the future, and can support your claim that the mold grew as a result of water damage and not neglect.
Your insurer will ask you questions about your claim that will help them decide if its covered by your policy. An adjuster will then be dispatched to assess the damage. If you need to make any urgent repairs before the adjuster has a chance to see the damage, be sure to take pictures before the repairs are done, and that you keep the receipts for any materials you purchased.
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
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Landlord Property Management And Repairs
A landlord’s duty to repair and maintain a property should be set out in the tenancy agreement. Obviously, a landlordcan’t carry out repairs unless they know there is a problem, so the tenant has a responsibility to highlight issues assoon as they notice them.
If the tenancy started after 1 October 2015, once a problem has been reported, the landlord is legally obliged torespond to the tenant within 14 days. In writing they are required to state what they’re going to do and by when.
If the landlord doesn’t respond, the tenant can report the problem to their Local Authority, who can issue the landlordwith a notice to fix the damp and mould. Under the new Retaliatory Eviction and the Deregulation Act 2015, if a landlordtries to evict the tenant within six months of a problem being reported in writing and not fixed, then it’s likely anySection 21 notice served can’t be enforced.
Due to the Habitation Act , tenants can now take landlords to court directly anddon’t necessarily have to involve the Local Authority. Courts can insist the landlord fixes the problem and can requirecompensation to be paid, so it’s best to sort the problem out sooner rather than later.
What Damage Can Rising And Penetrating Damp Cause To Your House
Rising damp and penetrating damp cannot only provide you with an unsightly stain on the wall but if left untreated it can lead to significant structural damage. This can occur if the dampness affects the timbers of the property which can lead to wood rot and wood infestation problems. If you are looking to sell the property, then this is going to deter any potential buyers.
Rising damp and penetrating damp issues do not fix themselves, so the sooner you can get an expert opinion on the root cause of your damp issue, the better.
Claiming for Damage from Damp on Home Insurance
Were often asked does house insurance cover damp?. The answer to this question is most likely to be no.
To claim costs for repairs at your house then the damage needs to be caused by one specific event, which rising and penetrating damp dont tend to fall in to/. This is because damp is generally caused by gradual deterioration in the condition of the building over a number of years.
There are a few insurers who do offer specific cover for rising damp, however, it is always best to carry out regular property maintenance to ensure that there are no expensive costs for treating rising damp in the future.
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What Doesn’t Home Insurance Cover
There are some things that our home insurance doesn’t cover. These include:
- Things breaking down or becoming faulty
- Deliberate damage caused by you or your family
- Theft by a guest invited into your home
- Road vehicles and mobility scooters
To find out more about what is and isn’t covered, check out our policy booklet .
What Is Home Insurance
Cover the cost if something happens to your home and the things inside.
Home insurance protects your home and its belongings. It can cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged by things like fire, storm or flood. And it can cover the cost of replacing the things in your home if they’re stolen, or repairing or replacing them if they’re damaged.
When you take out home insurance, you can choose between three types of cover:
- Buildings – Covers the structure, fixtures and fittings of your home
- Contents– Protects the things inside your home, like TVs, beds and cameras
- Combined – Covers both your building and your belongings in one policy.
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What Kind Of Home Insurance Cover Do You Need
The kind of cover you need depends on whether you own or rent your home:
- If you are a homeowner, then combined buildings and contents insurance covers both your home and the things in it.
- If you rent, you’ll only need contents insurance. This will cover items owned by you. Your landlord will arrange buildings insurance.
What To Do If There Is Damp In Your House
Here are a few quick and simple remedies for preventing and banishing damp.Wipe down windows and sills every morning. Image credit: Debi Treloar. Deal with steam from cooking. Get rid of bathroom moisture. Ventilation. Keep your house warm. Insulate. Buy a dehumidifier. Dont hang clothes to dry inside.
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What Type Of Home Insurance Do I Need
The type of cover you need depends on whether you own or rent your home:
- If you are a homeowner, then combined buildings and contents insurance covers both your home and your things in it.
- If you rent, you’ll only need contents insurance. This will cover items in your home that are owned by you. Your landlord will arrange buildings insurance.
Keep Your Home Well Ventilated
A hot and stuffy home can result in a build-up of excess moisture, causing mould and mildew, so its important to let the air circulate around your property. Its a good idea to open a window every day, even if its cold outside. If you have air vents in your kitchen and bathroom that lead outside, make sure nothing is blocking them. And dont lie furniture flat against walls as air wont be able to circulate behind it.
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Your Duty As A Landlord
As a landlord, it’s both your legal responsibility and a duty of care to your tenants to make sure your property is freeof damp and mould.
To do this properly, you need an expert to diagnose the problem and then, ideally, secure a fix that also has a qualitywarranty. That means if there are any further problems – even if the company goes bust – the work is still covered.
Living with damp and mould isnÃ¢â¬â¢t only miserable, it also endangers a tenant’s health. Even if it costs thousands to fix,it’s worth it to make sure you are acting within the law. And because damp and mould can wipe thousands off a property’svalue, tackling the problem at the earliest stage will help ensure your investment isn’t adversely affected.
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Does House Insurance Cover Damp Caused By Leaking Pipes
Most insurance policies will cover you for burst, leaking or frozen pipes. This will usually cover two different things.
Exactly what you are covered for will depend on your policy, so you should check your paperwork or ring your insurer to find out.
One thing that may not be covered in your policy is water leaks caused by accidental damage. This could involve DIY mistake such as drilling straight through a pipe. However, you can usually add accidental damage cover to your policy if you think it is needed.
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What Does Section 11 Of The Landlord And Tenant Act 1985 Cover
Not only is it a good idea for a landlord to take responsibility for solving any damp issues, it’s also a legalrequirement under the ‘repairing obligations’ set out in Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. The Act statesthat the “structure and exterior of the dwelling-house” as well as “the supply of water, gas and electricity” and”heating and heating water” need to be kept in working order.
As rising and penetrating damp are caused by structural issues, landlords must secure a correct diagnosis and get theproblem fixed. If condensation is a major problem, especially if mould is forming, it can also be considered astructural issue. This means moisture clearly canÃ¢â¬â¢t escape from the property. Ventilation should therefore be installedto prevent mould from forming, because that can be harmful to the tenant.
In March 2019 there was an amendment to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 called the Homes Act 2018 in England. This Act reinforces the need for properties to be ‘fit for human habitation’ at the start of andduring the tenancy. Although this hasn’t introduced any new obligations when it comes to damp, condensation and mould,it does give you, as the landlord, easier access to a property to make repairs, while tenants can apply to the courtdirectly if the property is believed to be ‘unfit for human habitation’. Clearly, making sure there aren’t any damp,condensation and mould problems would fit into this requirement.
How Much Does A Damp
The worse a damp situation gets, the more its likely to cost to repair any damage. Most standard buildings and contents home insurance policies do not cover damage caused by damp and condensation.
A damp-proof course can run into thousands of pounds if the whole house needs treating. Each case is different, but a rough estimate is around £300-£600 per wall depending on the size of your property.
Make sure you really need a damp-proof course damp proof treatment before you pay out for it as damp is often misdiagnosed. If needs be, seek advice from an independent damp specialist or an independent and qualified Chartered Surveyor from the RICS to find out whether the treatment is absolutely necessary. They will charge a fee but will be more likely to accurately diagnose the problem, potentially saving you money in the long run.
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Why Is There Damp On The Outside Walls
Damp can occur on interior and exterior walls.
If it’s penetrating damp it’s often due to structural problems, such as damaged guttering, roofing or cracks in the wall.
Old bricks can also become porous, which let water in.
As with internal walls, you might notice darker patches appearing on outside walls or, in the case of rising damp, dark swathes of tide lines rising up the walls.
What To Do If Youre A Tenant With Mould Issues
Youll want to fix it as soon as possible. Depending on the surface, the extent of the problem and the type of mould, this might be as easy as simply wiping it away with a cloth, or it might need professional cleaning services.
In all cases, youll want to make sure you follow the preventative steps going forwards. Without doing so, its probably just going to come back again quickly.
The cost of a mould removal service depends on the extent of the problem, the type of mould and the location. A quote might range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
For example, you might be able to clean it away yourself for free, and then open a window. Or you might be paying thousands of dollars for actual home renovations in order to eliminate a source of rising damp. If this is the case, you need to involve the landlord.
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