25 February 2021

Do I need Landlord Building Insurance, Contents Insurance, or both?

By Kevin Meek New Business Senior Account Handler
Sofa with pictures on the wall

There are three main types of cover that your landlord insurance will provide: Buildings, Contents or a combination of both. But depending on the type of property you have, and how you let it, you might ask yourself “Which one do I need?”.

Put very simply, it could be any, or all three depending on what you actually own, and what you are responsible for legally and financially.

Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 says that it is the landlord’s responsibility to:

  1. keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes)
  2. keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity)
  3. keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water

Taking the above into account, there are various types of cover that can satisfy this requirement:

What’s the difference between Buildings and Contents Insurance?

Landlords Buildings insurance will cover the main structure of the building (including outbuildings if any) plus any fixtures and fittings inside the property i.e. kitchens and bathrooms including integrated appliances and permanently fitted flooring

Landlords Contents insurance is designed to cover any furniture owned by you and any other loose items, including carpets. However, fixtures and fittings cover can also be included if the property is a leasehold e.g. a flat.

So which one do I need?

If you own the freehold of a property, or you share the freehold of a building, you would need Landlords Buildings insurance to protect yourself against damage being caused to the property structure by external events such as fire, flood, subsidence or storm. In addition to this you will likely want to protect yourself from any damage being caused by the tenants to both the structure and the fixtures inside. By covering the building you will also be protected against any liability to yourself caused by the tenant being injured or their property being damaged (Property Owners Liability cover).

Landlords Contents insurance would only be required if you provide all or part of the furniture in the property (including free-standing white goods), or you need expensive carpets or curtains covered. You also need to consider all contents in communal areas if you own these as the landlord.

If you are a leaseholder, i.e. you own or lease part of a property, for example in a block of flats, it is most likely that the building structure itself will already be covered by a separate freeholder, however you will still be responsible for the fixtures and fittings in the property, plus again any furniture, white goods, or carpets and curtains. In this instance, Landlords Contents insurance would provide the cover you need. Although normally provided with Buildings cover, fixtures and fittings cover is included in a leasehold or shared building situation.

Do I need to cover tenants’ belongings?

Landlord insurance is designed to cover you, the landlord, for property or items that you are legally responsible for and have a financial interest in…so the answer is no, the tenants will need to source insurance for their own contents or belongings.

So to summarise, it’s always a good idea to periodically review exactly what you own in your rented property to ensure your landlord insurance provides the right level of cover.

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Need some help?

If you need help in identifying exactly what cover you need, you can get in touch with me directly on the details below or contact us by clicking the button. As always, we’re happy to help with any enquiries.

T: 01206 913394

E: kevin.meek@protectmylet.com

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