Reduce Your Liability When Leasing Your Property

  • Law
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  • February 22, 2016

Reduce Your Liability When Leasing Your Property

If you are considering leasing your property, it is important to take several steps to minimize your liability risk. After all, a landlord is responsible for providing a safe environment, and there is also a big financial risk involved in renting to the wrong tenants. Therefore, you should make sure that you take the time to properly consider each applicant before you offer them a lease. Keep in mind that it can be very difficult to terminate a lease before it expires if something goes wrong, and you will definitely have to file a court action if the renter fails to live up to their legal responsibilities.

Being a landlord can be financially rewarding, however, it is important to understand your potential liability. There are many issues to consider and below are some tips to help you reduce your liability and make financial gains.

Purchase Insurance

Your homeowners insurance will not be enough to cover you if something happens to your property or belongings while a tenant is residing on the property. Instead, you will need to take out a landlord insurance policy to make sure that all of your bases are covered. You can also opt to add additional coverage for specific issues such as accidental damage and home emergency cover.

There are two types of insurance that should not be overlooked by anyone leasing out their property. The first is public liability insurance and the second is property owner’s liability insurance. These policies will cover you if someone is injured on your property or by a problem with your building. It makes good business sense to shop around for insurance. There are insurance comparison quote sites such as Monkey Insurance in the UK where you can compare the rates of different companies.

Do a Background Check

The most important thing that you can do to protect your investment is to run a background check on every applicant. After all, if you have no idea if your applicants have a bad landlord history or a criminal record, you will be leaving yourself wide open to the possibility of renting to an individual who has no intention of paying for their rent in a timely manner. By screening each applicant, you can avoid the majority of these issues.

Have a Sensible Pet Policy

Allowing your renters to have pets on the property will increase the likelihood of damage. This risk tends to go up with larger animals, so it is a good idea to either prohibit animals altogether or to restrict pets to a certain weight limit. However, if you want to allow residents to have cats and dogs of all sizes, you should definitely restrict aggressive breeds to reduce the possibility of someone being injured on your property.

Use Property Management

You can hire a property management company to take care of a wide variety of services at your property. Whether you simply want to utilize one of their skilled maintenance team members on an as-needed basis or you prefer to let them oversee everything for you, it is always a good idea to involve a professional company to ensure that everything is taken care of properly.

Take a Fair Housing Class

Even though a property owner who is only renting out one property will be eligible for certain exceptions to the fair housing laws, it is imperative to make sure that you have a full understanding of how the laws work and which ones impact you. Your best bet is to simply remain fully compliant with the entire fair housing act so that you will never end up defending yourself in a courtroom from discrimination allegations.

Additionally, you should make sure that you keep your property in good condition at all times to avoid any injury claims, and you should also respond in a timely manner to any resident complaints. As long as you follow all of these guidelines, it can be very financially rewarding to be a landlord.

In today’s soft real estate market, paralegal Kelly Kovacic researches the latest information on liability topics to help out those who are looking to invest in rental properties. In order to make money leasing your property, you will need to have adequate insurance to cover your premises. Anyone in the market for landlord insurance in the UK can shop online with a comparison quote site like Monkey Insurance to get the best available rates.

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