Tenant Liability Insurance Can Help Avoid Tenancy Deposit Disputes

Thursday, May 14, 2015
Tenant Liability Insurance Can Help Avoid Tenancy Deposit Disputes

Tenant Liability Insurance Can Help Avoid Tenancy Deposit Disputes

Tenant Liability Insurance Can Protect Tenant Deposits

There is often a great deal of confusion when tenancy deposit disputes arise between landlords and tenants without Tenant Liability Insurance. Rental properties may need repairs due to accidental damage or maintenance issues may arise where responsibilities may have not been kept up by the tenant.

Tenancy deposit disputes can arise because the tenant may not have fully understood that they were taking on the responsibility for keeping the rental property and any gardens associated with it in a good condition. This situation can sometimes be caused by the misinterpretation or ambiguity of repair and responsibility clauses contained in Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreements.

Gardens of rental properties are among the main causes of tenancy deposit disputes, with tenants often claiming that they were confused over who exactly was responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the garden. Subsequently, deposit disputes occur due to landlord withholding part or all of the tenant’s deposit money to tidy and restore the garden to the condition it was in at the start of the tenancy.A standard clause in most Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreements should state that tenants are expected to keep gardens litter-free, reasonably tidy and not allow them to get overgrown, keeping the gardens in the same state as they were when they moved in. This means that a landlord cannot reasonably expect a tenant to carry out improvements to the garden of a rental property if it was a mess

Tenants are usually permitted to have social events and BBQ’s in the gardens of rented properties, unless it is otherwise forbidden by the landlord and if this is the case it should be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement and brought to the attention of the tenant before they agree to accept the tenancy.

Tenants should also be informed that they are responsible for any noise, nuisance or damage to the property caused by themselves or their guests. Tenant liability insurance would cover damage to the rental property and cover is available for just £60 per year.

If the tenant wishes to change the garden of the property they are renting, in any way, even by making overall improvements, by law they are still required to gain the landlord’s approval.

Many portfolio landlords prefer to use a full-time gardener to maintain the gardens of all of their properties, applying the cost to a tenant’s monthly rent if they agree prior to the start of the tenancy. However, if it states in the tenancy agreement that the landlord will provide garden services, they are then obliged to do so for the length of the tenancy.

Landlords should always take a sensible deposit from tenants and secure the funds in one of the three Government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes and take photographs of every aspect of the rental property and associated gardens, noting particular features on the inventory check in report. These images can then be compared with the check-out report when the tenant is due to vacate the rental property.

In order to protect their own interests and protect the tenants valuable deposit funds, landlords can utilise tenant liability insurance to cover the cost of repairs due to damage caused to rental properties by tenants and their guests. Accidents can happen even to the most careful of tenants and ensuring that there is an insurance policy in place will provide landlords and their tenants with a little extra peace of mind.

This was written by Mike Clarke. Posted on at 11:30 am. Filed under Insurance. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.