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Is the landlord or tenant responsible for buildings insurance?

Is the landlord or tenant responsible for buildings insurance?

If you rent a house or flat, then you might well be wondering if your landlord should have buildings insurance. It’s a relatively straightforward question, but with a slightly complicated answer.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
posted 14 JANUARY 2020

Does a landlord need to have buildings insurance?

It's your landlord's responsibility to organise buildings insurance. There's no legal requirement for buildings insurance, although it’s a good idea for landlords to have it in place to protect not only their tenants but also their investment. Your landlord might have buildings insurance as a condition of an outstanding mortgage.

Should I have buildings insurance of my own if I'm a tenant?

If you're renting a property, you don’t need buildings insurance because this is a type of policy designed to protect the building itself, which is your landlord’s responsibility.

Who is responsible for fixing the property if my landlord doesn’t have buildings insurance?

A landlord is obliged to repair any damage and ensure that the property is in a reasonable condition, whether they have buildings insurance or not. Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, your landlord is responsible for the structure and exterior of a building, the plumbing, sinks, baths and toilets, water and gas pipes, electrical work and other integral structures like the water and central heating. So, if you have a problem with any of these in a rented home – give your landlord or letting agent a call.

Does my landlord's buildings insurance cover my belongings?

Even if your landlord has an insurance policy, it doesn’t automatically cover your possessions. There’s always a chance your belongings could be destroyed in a fire or get stolen, for example. So it's always a good idea to have your own contents insurance in place.

Compare home contents insurance providers.

How do I make sure my possessions are insured?

Your possessions within a rented property can be covered by a contents insurance policy. It’s worth noting that your contents insurance doesn’t provide cover for the landlord’s building, with the potential exception of any accidental damage you do to the fixtures and fittings – such as the fitted kitchen or bathroom suite. Even if you don't own your home, a home contents policy is well worth the investment, in case of a burglary, or imagine if the flat above you flooded and water came through and damaged your belongings.

Do I need my own home contents insurance?

You’re under no obligation to have home contents insurance. But if you don't, your belongings probably aren't sufficiently covered if they’re stolen or damaged. The average home has contents worth £35,000, according to the ABI (The Association of British Insurers, and they estimate the typical content in a three-bedroom family home is around £55,000.
Home contents covers your personal belongings, including:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Jewellery
  • Electrical goods

You may want to consider adding extra to cover for the possessions you take out of your home, such as laptops, cameras, mobile phones and jewellery. This option is usually known as personal possessions cover.

When you're a tenant, you don't need to concern yourself with the landlord having buildings insurance, but you should consider taking out home contents insurance to protect your possessions. See more on how to estimate the value of your home contents.

Where can I compare quotes on contents insurance?

It’s easy to compare quotes to suit your needs, with our handy contents insurance comparison service. All you need to do choose the policy that’s right for you.

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