Student or Leaseholder??

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    Student or Leaseholder??

    I've always had students bar 1 year and insured with the same firm. I pay £800 per year for buildings and contents insurance + accidental damage. Excess is £100; flat's a tenement, 2 bedrooms. The policy was taken out on my behalf by my old letting agent about 20 odd years ago. I'm sure I've told them in the past that I rent to students (over the phone). I was on their website and they say they don't cover properties that have students but do for 'leaseholders'. I've always had a lease, through letting agents. Does it mean that I need to get a new policy because they're students, or can I argue that they're 'leaseholders'? Seemingly it's a very old policy as they couldn't find the details initially. (I'd called them to talk about the new types of lease in Scotland.)

    What do they mean by "leaseholder"? It is normally understood to refer to someone with a long lease.


      Leaseholder generally means they own the property on a long term lease and are paying you ground rent. I assume this is not the case and you have a "tenancy agreement" in place and therefore the students are tenants.

      I wouldn't rely on what a website says, especially as you have a long standing policy. Insurers change their rules all the time so it may well be that student tenants were fine when you took the policy out but now they dont take them on for new policies any more. Your existing policy may remain valid unless they have told you otherwise in the last 20 years. In theory they have student tenants on your record if this is what you told them originally so it would be extremely bad practice if they are still collecting your renewal premium every year for an invalid policy!

      The only way you are going to know for certain and to put your mind at rest is by speaking to your existing insurer/broker. I would also suggest that £800 p/a seems excessive so maybe it is time to move to a new policy anyway.
      Steve Smith - Company Director at a leading Landlord Insurance broker with 20+ years experience in the industry
      LandlordZONE Verified Poster and Topic Expert for Landlords Insurance since 2009
      See my profile for contact details


        Thanks for the advice. Yes it's a tenanct agreement each year with new tenants each year. The £800 doesn't include renat guarantee insurance, which I get through my letting agent as the dates don't match (insurance due Feb/March and tenants usually in August/September). I did call one of the team last week and he said it was ok but 'that's not my area of expertise'. He didn't say I should call and check with anyone else but am considering contacting the 'experts'.


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