Contents insurance and renting

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  • Contents insurance and renting

    Hi all,
    I've been looking at flats to rent in Glasgow recently and have found one I really like. However, the letting agents (Fineholm) insist that I pay contents insurance for the flat. It comes furnished but there's nothing too expensive: just things like the microwave, kettle, toaster etc. I'll be asking them to remove the TV because I won't be using it. The things I'll be taking into the flat myself aren't expensive (just clothes and books) and I'd rather not have to pay this contents insurance because the flat and associated costs are going to be expensive as it is. Isn't it up to the letting company to pay for their contents insurance? Do I HAVE to pay for this? I'm new to renting so would appreciate any help.
    Thanks guys
    Goldi x
    P.S. If anyone knows of any companies that will provide contents insurance for 6 months, please let me know!

  • #2
    Originally posted by goldilockz View Post
    contents insurance.Do I HAVE to pay for this?
    in a word, yes, and this is normal.

    Contents insurance includes your personal items. cloths, shoes, bags, computers, etc, and as the Landlord does not live there, he can't have contents insurance as has no personal contents.

    Furnished yes, but you are responsible for keeping the furniture in good order ( not to damage it ). The microwave, kettle, toaster is being rented from the landlord ( furnished ) and if anything goes wrong with them, the landlord will replace, ( will, should, could ) as he owns them.

    But contents insurance could also save you money if you inadvertatly break something, as then you could be covered by the insurance, and not have the damages taken out of your deposit when you leave. All depends on what the contents cover,,, covers.

    But it is normal for the tenant to have their own contents insurance, and most companies insist on this. One of the things that happens when renting, i'm afraid.

    R.a.M.

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    • #3
      Ahh, ok. Thanks very much for clearing that up for me, I appreciate it!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ram View Post
        in a word, yes, and this is normal.

        Contents insurance includes your personal items. cloths, shoes, bags, computers, etc, and as the Landlord does not live there, he can't have contents insurance as has no personal contents.

        Furnished yes, but you are responsible for keeping the furniture in good order ( not to damage it ). The microwave, kettle, toaster is being rented from the landlord ( furnished ) and if anything goes wrong with them, the landlord will replace, as he owns them.

        But contents insurance could also save you money if you inadvertatly break something, as then you could be covered by the insurance, and not have the damages taken out of your deposit when you leave. All depends on what the contents cover,,, covers.

        But it is normal for the tenant to have their own contents insurance, and most companies insist on this. One of the things that happens when renting, i'm afraid.

        R.a.M.
        Nonsense. I disagree that it is 'normal' and I should like to suggest that it is in fact a bit of a rip-off.

        First, it should be up to the T (not the LL or agent) whether or not she insures her own property and/or damage to the LL's contents. If such damage is wilful, then an insurance company will not pay out in any case. Whether it is wilful or accidental, then the LL already has the T's deposit to fall back on. I do not therefore see how a LL (or agent) has any authority to micromanage the T's existence to the point of insisting that they pay for a contents policy chosen by the LL (and for which no doubt he or the agent are getting a rake-off).

        Second, unless the damage is extensive, it is unlikely that a claim would be worth making, since most excesses for contents policies are pretty hefty. If any damage were extensive, it would probably be as a result of fire or flood, for which the LL should be insured in any case, or because the T has completely trashed the flat...which is wilful and therefore not covered.

        And they say the government nannies us...
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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        • #5
          It doesn't seem clear to me from the post whether the OP is being asked to simply insure his own property or the LLs as well. It certainly doesn't seem the case that the OP has to take out insurance offered by the agent as he/she asks for recommendations of 6 month policies.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by p_cas View Post
            It doesn't seem clear to me from the post whether the OP is being asked to simply insure his own property or the LLs as well. It certainly doesn't seem the case that the OP has to take out insurance offered by the agent as he/she asks for recommendations of 6 month policies.

            True, but the principle is the same (agent is insisting that T takes out insurance for her own possessions and for accidental damage to LL's). I know some tenancy agreements contain such a clause and if OP is desperate for the property, then she will probably feel pressured to comply. I suspect however that if this requirement were tested in court it may be an unfair term.

            However, as she says, it should be up to her to decide whether this is something she feels she needs to do, or not. It is none of the LL's business, is it? What difference does it make to him whether T insures her own contents? And as explained above, his contents are 'covered' againt tenant damage/theft by her tenancy deposit.

            We used to have a clause like this, but I scrapped it for the reasons explained above and because in practice our student Ts were not heeding the instruction in any case. Now we explain to them that we recommend they insure their own contents against theft and accidental damage becasue our policy does not cover their stuff, then we leave it up to them to decide whether they want to take our advice or not. They are adults, after all.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

            Comment


            • #7
              letting agents AST's stipulations range from.

              ( A ) "The landlord is not providing any insurance cover for the tenants possessions"
              To
              ( B ) A condition of the tenancy is the tenant will procure contents insurance for the term of the tenancy.

              Either way, the tenant is made, or advised to have contents cover, and the landlord is not supplying any contents cover.

              I think that my statement stating "it is normal to have your own contents insurance" is a valid statement, either voluntary or enforced cover.

              But regards "Mind the gap" comments, you should not be forced to take out contents insurance cover, or pay the agents for them to earn commission on insurance.

              Read all comments, and if you are only there 6 months and you don't expect to be burgled, do without contents cover, but if you tell the letting agent you refuse to have your own contents insurance, please let us know if you get the flat.

              Thanks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi all,
                Thank you for your responses; I'm glad that I am not obliged to take out contents cover, although a couple of you have made me think this might be necessary. I originally posted because in the leaflet given to me by the LA, stating the documents I have to provide before the lease has been approved, I noticed that it said I must have contents cover. I wondered if this was for my possessions or everything, including furniture etc. I phoned the LA today and they confirmed that although they would recommend it, I don't HAVE to take out contents cover. I have now decided I would like to (partially based on the fact that my dad's office was broken into last night and £6,000 of tools/ equipment were stolen. Needless to say, he didn't have cover) but I can't seem to find ANY places that provide cover for only 6 months. Does anyone know of anywhere that would? I'm moving to Wales in September so was wondering if I might be able to transfer my contents cover to a different apartment if I had to take out a policy for a year.

                Thanks so much again for your replies,
                Goldi x

                Comment


                • #9
                  contents insurance is transferable - beneficial if your moving house, things could get damaged in transit! I think contents insurance is important, my agent insists on it at move in. If a tenant is responsible enough to take it out they are responsible enough to look after their possessions - its stated in the AST they must have this.

                  Hope your move goes well!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's not an AST at all- it's in Glasgow (= Scotland!)
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
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                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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