10 December 2020

School's nearly out! But are you sure your student landlord insurance isn't?

By Kevin Meek New Business Senior Account Handler
It’s that time of year again when students are coming home for Christmas, with some slightly earlier than planned as more and more face-to-face lectures are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that their two-week holiday could well turn into a four-week one, or even longer!

This poses the question to you as a landlord – Have you made sure your student landlord insurance covers you for your empty property and, more importantly, how long for?

How long can your property be left empty with a student landlord insurance policy?

Most landlord insurance policies will have a typical standard time allowed for a property to be empty before restrictions kick in. Some might have certain conditions that you need to meet, therefore it’s important to check this as soon as you can. Given the current uncertain circumstances we would advise you to also speak to your insurer or insurance broker to understand how lenient your landlord insurance policy is given that non-term time could be extended, meaning your property could be empty for longer.

Can you fulfil your policy conditions?

All policies will have things you need to do in order to keep your landlord insurance valid. These can range from carrying out routine inspections to ensuring your property is cleaned to a professional standard throughout the year. With the UK restrictions changing all the time, it might be difficult to carry out these activities, meaning your policy could end up being void. If this is the case, the money you’ve shelled out for insurance might not be the only cost as it’s likely that you wouldn’t be covered in the event of a claim.

Planning ahead for your students’ return

It’s not just Christmas that will be different in the student landscape. Making sure that your student landlord insurance covers you correctly when your property is empty is one thing, but you must also remember to plan for the year ahead once the students return. With the students gone for Christmas, now would be the best time to make sure that your property is up to standard for another Covid-19 impacted term next year.

With limited options for socialising due to Covid-19 and fewer face-to-face lectures, many students will be spending a lot more time in their lets than normal. Whether it’s a drunken night in or a study cramming session, not only will there be a higher risk of damage to the building and your fixtures and fittings, but there’s also the possible increase in liability to anyone in the property. With this new risk assessment, we would recommend making sure your current student landlord insurance policy offers enough cover for things that might have previously been seen as low risk.

You should also think about whether your furnishings and utensils are up to scratch to cope with the extra use. When was the last time you had your boiler serviced? Is it time to add in another fridge for your seven-bedroom let considering it’s likely all tenants will be eating at home more frequently than before? Or perhaps you thought you could get another year out of the sofa when the reality is it should really be changed now before that spring pokes out and causes an injury. With students spending more time at home and a growing anger at them paying to study at home, an unoccupied property over Christmas presents the perfect opportunity to make sure everything is in working order and that your tenants feel they are getting value for their money.

How can we help with your student landlord insurance?

Even if you’re not a Protect My Let client we will happily help with any of your policy enquiries. The beauty of working with a broker as opposed to an online comparison site is that we’ll do all the leg work and keep up to date on risk exposures like this for you. We’re clued up in this area and will happily share our knowledge with you.  At Protect My Let you’ll be speaking to a real person, not a chatbot.

You can get in touch by calling or emailing us, or you can arrange a time that suits you and we’ll be in touch. You can find all the details by clicking here.  


Student reading a book

Speak to us about landlord insurance for student houses

You can find further useful information and get in touch with a member of our team or submit an enquiry on our student accommodation page.