Floods are not uncommon in the UK, and as a landlord, it’s important to ensure that your property is covered against such a disaster. Floods can be devastating to your tenants, but how will such an even effect you as a landlord? Will your landlord insurance policy cover the damages?
Does Landlord Insurance Cover Flood Damage?
That depends on the policy. Not all companies that offer landlord insurance will offer flood insurance. If they do, it typically comes at an added expense. If you own a property in a high flood risk area, flood insurance is a necessity – even if you have to pay extra for it.
Flood Damage: Determining Responsibility
Who is responsible for flood damage: you, or the tenant? Landlords are required to keep their properties reasonably safe and in a reasonable state of repair, according to the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985. Under this act, you are responsible for any repairs caused by flood damage.
Any damage that affects the habitability of the property requires immediate attention from you, the landlord. If water is soaking into the carpets or any damage has been done to the property, you need to begin marking repairs as soon as possible. Water damage, in particular, needs to be addressed immediately as it can lead to mold growth.
In addition to any water or physical damage to the building, you will also be responsible for repairing or replacing any furnishings that you provided with the property. Electrical and gas supplies will also need to be checked and may need repairs.
If a flood occurs, do your tenants have to move out? That depends on how severe the damage is.
If minor flooding has occurred, your tenants may be allowed to remain on the property. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you will be responsible for the safety of the tenants if they stay on the property.
If moderate flooding has occurred and repairs will take a few weeks, you are not obligated to find alternative accommodation for your tenants. If your landlord insurance policy offers this cover, you may make a claim and provide your tenants with temporary rehousing. In this case, the tenants will still be responsible for paying rent each month.
When serious flooding occurs and repairs will take several months, drastic measures may need to be taken. Refer to your tenancy agreement to determine what to do in this sort of situation. Depending on the agreement, the tenancy may be terminated if the property becomes uninhabitable. The tenant will still be responsible for finding alternative accommodations whether the tenancy is terminated or not. In most cases, it’s in everyone’s interest to terminate the tenancy.
Flooding can cause a tremendous amount of damage. If your standard landlord insurance policy does not cover flooding and your property is in a high risk area, it’s worth it to pay the extra cost for the supplemental policy. This vital cover will ensure that your property is protected against any damages caused by flooding.