Insurance considerations for buying, selling or letting a flat.
Whether you are buying, selling or letting your property, there are a few insurance matters that you will need to think about.
Belinda Thorpe, Managing Director of Residentsline, discusses the specific issues you might face when handling the insurance matters for your flat, as well as the type of cover that you might need.
Buying a flat
Buying a flat or an apartment is very different to buying a house. The same can be said for organising the insurance cover; your Residents Management Company, Residents Association, freeholder or landlord are normally responsible for handling the insurance for your complete block rather than you needing to obtain your own personal insurance policy.
If flat owners insured themselves separately then the risk of one of the owners not insuring at all or not insuring with a suitable level of cover would become a danger.
Thankfully most leases do have a requirement for an insurance policy covering all units to be arranged for the block. As most blocks of flats have communal areas and ground this ensures the complete estate stays protected, including lifts, paths, paving, fences, gates, car parks etc including liability risks to protect residents, visitors and employees.
Most flats insurance policies are very comprehensive, but you still need to be aware of all the levels of cover your flat requires.
Letting a flat
More and more of us are purchasing flats for investment purposes. As a landlord, cover you should consider includes:
- Landlords Buildings Insurance – to cover your contents as a landlord, from which can be as simple as white goods.
- Rent Guarantee – this will provide you with legal assistance with repossession of your property, obtaining rent arrears and dilapidation costs.
- Deposit Legal Protection – the standard deposit system (i.e. deposits being held by a landlord) causes a lot of difficulty for tenants as they must fund another deposit before they are able to move. However, Deposit Legal Protection policies are becoming more and more popular; they basically replace the need for a deposit with an insurance policy, ensuring the landlord is covered and the tenant has more freedom to move.
- Landlords Emergency Assistance – as a landlord you can’t always be around at the time of an emergency. Having a Landlords Home Emergency policy in place will ensure there is someone at hand at any time of the day and night.
Selling your flat
When choosing to sell your flat, your solicitor will normally require documentation to complete the conveyancing process. This could include a copy of the lease and copies of your insurance documents.
If you have a property managing agent, they can normally provide a suitable pack including all that will be required. If you don’t have a property managing agent, your conveyancing solicitor will be able to obtain most of these documents from your Residents’ Management Company, Residents’ Association or freeholder.