Lowering landlord insurance and the importance of tenant security

AFS Team·31 October 2013·4 min read
Lowering landlord insurance and the importance of tenant security
This week, Scotland's Police Service and landlords were at loggerheads after a local Glasgow Police Officer, PC Craig Broakes, was quoted as saying; "break-ins could be wiped out overnight if landlords secured their properties properly and strengthened the fixtures surrounding the door." He added, "student population houses are easy targets. Students don't have insurance for contents... Landlords really need to address this matter."

The Scottish Journal, who broke the story, spoke to a Glasgow University student who said; "having insecure door fixtures contributed towards the break-in." The Hillhead area of Glasgow has been 'studentified' in recent years and according to NUS Scotland, many "landlords have failed to invest properly in tenant security."

However, there are merits for good precautionary security measures in place for both landlords and tenants alike. Landlord insurance payments are often cheaper if the property is well secured. It is crucially important that landlords have specific landlord protection. Furthermore, it can protect you from Third-party Liability, Public Liability and Property Owner's Liability (for the latter always include cover of upwards of £5 million). It is important that a landlord has the right insurance cover.

The issue here is that good tenants want a secure property. By investing in good locks and other paraphernalia, you can help protect the security of your rental property. This will help the tenant and in the long run the landlord. It will help reduce your insurance payments.

The RLA advises landlords to think of physical security just as much security deposits and fire/gas security. HMO regulations are clear about Yale locks. However, the wider issue of secured windows, doors and other access points is much more vague. The RLA advises "proactive engagement with tenants in terms of security can help reduce long-term expenditure on security (i.e. door locks)." The RLA argues that by engaging with tenants and developing the right approach to property security financial gains can be made in the long term.

Furthermore, such behaviour is rewarded in the insurance sector. Landlord insurance costs will fall if it is seen that the landlord is proactive about the physical security element just as much as the other legislative element of landlord responsibilities.

Therefore, if you are a proactive landlord why not think about your properties physical security and discuss with your tenant(s) and build a stronger rapport in terms of property security. In the long-term you, as a landlord, can save money whilst lowering your insurance payments.