Strange insurance clause in contract

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Strange insurance clause in contract

    I'm renting a house for a year and the landlord has inserted a clause that says if there's a fire and his building insurance doesn't pay him fully because it was due to tenant negligence, then we as tenants would be liable for the damage.

    Obviously this could run into tens of thousands and we're just tenants, we don't have building insurance for his property.

    Is it legal for him to put this clause in? And what does "negligence" mean? Chip pan fire? Samsung Note exploding?

    How can I protect myself against liability?

    Thanks

    #2
    I'd ignore it.

    Let's assume there was no such clause but there was a fire, caused by tenant's negligence, house burns down: (forget if it is insured or not, forget if insurance pays out or not). He, or his insurers are likely to sue negligent tenant anyway, with the clause or without. You ain't gonna pay up if he sends you a bill for, say, £55k are you?

    When you say "landlord has inserted clause...." do you mean in original tenancy or a revised tenancy you've been offerred?
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      It's the original contract which I haven't signed yet. If I sign it then am I giving him permission to bill me for say £55k.

      I haven't rented before and I don't know if this clause is normal. Doesn't seem right especially when they can't tell me the difference between negligence and an accident.

      If it was my own house, I'd take out buildings insurance and accept that the company may not pay out fully. But as I'm a tenant, how can I protect myself against this risk? It's not like I can sell the house to raise the money.

      Comment


        #4
        I agree the clause is of little or no effect. If you negligently caused me loss, I'd sue regardless of the clause. But it's hardly 'permission to bill you £55k'. You've got to cause the loss through negligence, first.

        Comment


          #5
          I think you would agree that if you caused his house to burn down and the insurance didn't pay as they thought you were at fault...you would owe the landlord the cost of the property whether that clause was written or not!

          It's a pointless clause because it's stands to reason that if you burned down his house, you would have to pay for it.

          If you think there's a risk that you will burn down his property then attempt to take out your own insurance against such a risk.

          If you burned down your own home who would you expect to pay for it?

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you everyone, that's cleared things up.

            Wright76, I understand and I would have to pay myself. It's just the clause sitting there in black and white reads like he is telling me up front that I MUST pay for any shortfall in payout and just take his word that it was through my negligence.

            Just one more question springs to mind, does the landlord just use a normal domestic building insurance policy or is there a special one for landlords who rent their property.

            Comment


              #7
              The landlord would normally need landlord's insurance as a domestic building policy usually requires the policy holder to be resident.
              They're not too different, although a landlord's insurance policy might include liability insurance and/or rent insurance.
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                The landlord most likely wants you to take out "Tenants Liability" insuarance.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think it is more a case that the clause is redundant, rather than that it is inappropriate.

                  In an ideal world the landlord's insurance would pay if there was not negligence involved. If they did not pay, ergo it would imply negligence and you WOULD be liable.

                  If you decided to barbeQ in the house, or store large vats of petrol, or leave burning fires unattended do you really think you would not be liable?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If you insure your contents on a specific "tenants contents insurance" type policy, then it should include tenant's liability cover. Don't assume every contents policy has this cover as there are several that don't. Just shop around and you will find it quite easily. In any case, the Landlord would need to prove you have been negligent which is difficult but if you are and you have this cover then you don't need to worry.
                    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

                    Comment

                    Latest Activity

                    Collapse

                    • Reply to Unoccupied Property Insurance
                      by L4NDLORD
                      Certainly the Zurich wording says a " Responsible Person " must inspect unoccupied premises at least once a week; there are also other risk requirements, esp during the winter
                      15-01-2022, 18:40 PM
                    • Unoccupied Property Insurance
                      by Marcus Read
                      Every landlord has void periods, and I have one now. I would like to insure for the obvious risks, such as unauthorised occupants (squatters), malicious damage, etc. But whenever I've looked into this, insurers say they will only offer 'FLEEA' insurance (fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake, aircraft)...
                      24-12-2021, 10:56 AM
                    • Reply to Unoccupied Property Insurance
                      by Piffy
                      I once had a Commercial Property and had to close my business for a month because a car drove into the front of the building and demolished the doorway. I wnt on holiday for 2 weeks and when I returned I went to the property and let myself in through another door and everything was OK. That night the...
                      11-01-2022, 13:45 PM
                    • Reply to Protfolio Landlord Insurance
                      by Steve Barnes
                      I always recommend that you should have a check list of the covers that are important to you and make sure that these covers are included within the quotations that you receive. That way you can compare the premiums easier and make sure it meets your needs, for example, as the property is being rented...
                      10-01-2022, 13:19 PM
                    • Protfolio Landlord Insurance
                      by MorProp
                      Hi all,

                      Can anyone recommend an insurance provide or broker for freehold BTLs?

                      also, from your experience, what should be covered and what to look out for?

                      how do you deal with emergencies?

                      thanks!
                      05-01-2022, 09:36 AM
                    • Reply to Protfolio Landlord Insurance
                      by L4NDLORD
                      One should check that cover includes terrorism! Would provide cover in the event your tenants used the rented property (or one nearby) to make a bomb that exploded. Also access and trace. And non invalidation cover. And three years loss of rent. Very few policies include CBRN but the very best do. Half...
                      10-01-2022, 03:08 AM
                    • Reply to Protfolio Landlord Insurance
                      by SouthernDave
                      I use John Lawton, Cascade Insurance
                      09-01-2022, 09:45 AM
                    • Reply to Protfolio Landlord Insurance
                      by loanarranger
                      Hi jpucng62
                      I think you meant BG ( British Gas ) I have this for all my properties and has been a great facility plus peace of mind for tenants , but bad news for the managing agents as there is no kickback from plumbers Etc
                      09-01-2022, 09:43 AM
                    • Reply to Protfolio Landlord Insurance
                      by jpucng62
                      Any commercial broker will be able to give you LL insurance. This will insured the fabric of the building & fixtures and fittings (think sinks, kitchen cupboards etc) in case of a major event.. It will usually have some contents cover for your furnishing - carpets, curtains, light shades and furniture...
                      09-01-2022, 08:18 AM
                    • Reply to Protfolio Landlord Insurance
                      by MorProp
                      loanarranger,

                      You have insurance and then BT home care on top? Sorry if this is a daft question but what are the differences?
                      05-01-2022, 22:09 PM
                    Working...
                    X