An insurance firm says a poll of 1,000 landlords suggests 50 per cent either did not have public liability insurance or were unaware whether they were covered.
The firm says this suggests there could be up to one million buy to let properties with no, or inadequate, cover to protect the owner in the event of a mishap.
Landlord Referencing claims buy to let investors risk substantial loss in extreme cases, suggesting that whereas ‘must have’ rebuilding insurance typically covers what may be ‘only’ £150,000 to rebuild a property if it is burned down, a tenant who is badly hurt and successfully sues a landlord, may secure £5m for lifetime care costs.
Case studies cited by the provider include one where a tenant fell from a fifth floor balcony, breaking her pelvis, both legs and incurring serious head injuries. The owner had public liability insurance in place but the case was thrown out because he successfully proved that it had been a direct consequence of the tenant’s actions.
In another, a child drowned in a landlord’s fish pond while in a third a buy to let investor was sued because a staircase was described as ‘not fit for purpose’ by a tenant.