Student let insurance FAQs
A paper released to Parliament on the 2nd of October 2019 revealed that were 2.3 million students in colleges and universities in the UK during the academic year 2017/2018.
Whether they are students from abroad or domestic students looking for their first break from living at home, a large proportion of that population is in search of accommodation in the private rented sector.
This suggests a strong market and a clear demand for such private rented accommodation. Here we discuss some frequently asked questions from landlords about student lets.
What are the risks in letting to students?
Whenever you let your property to tenants, you run the risk of discovering that some tenants treat the accommodation with less care, responsibility and respect than you deserve.
Rightly or wrongly, students have gained something of a reputation for keeping unsocial hours, holding parties which may get out of hand, and generally indulging in what might be described as anti-social behaviour.
Indeed, there are some insurers who specifically refuse your application for landlord insurance if your tenants are going to be students (other groups which are similarly considered to be high-risk and therefore ruled out include tenants on welfare benefits and asylum seekers).
So, what are my landlord insurance options?
Fortunately, there is a product available from certain specialist insurance providers called student let insurance. Just as the name suggests, it is specifically designed for those landlords intending to let their property to students.
What does student let insurance cover?
If you are at all familiar with standard forms of landlord insurance, you will recognise the main elements of cover typically offered by student let insurance, namely:
- cover for the structure and fabric of the building itself – against such risks as fire, flooding, escape of water, impacts (from vehicles and falling objects), vandalism and theft;
- optional cover for those contents you own as the landlord – your student tenants remain responsible for arranging any insurance for their own belongings;
- indemnity against landlord liability claims – in the event that a tenant, one of their visitors or a member of the public suffers an injury or has their property damaged and holds you responsible as the landlord; and
- compensation for loss of rental income – in the event that your let property becomes temporarily unlettable following a major insured event.
If you are worried about the extra risks which letting to students may incur, you may be pleased to note that some insurers (but my no means all) include cover against malicious damage caused by your tenants – whether the latter are students or any other type of tenant.
What happens to my insurance cover during students’ holidays?
Students are widely envied for the amount of breaks they have away from college or university. Whether it is Christmas, Easter or the especially long summer holidays, your let property might often stand empty and unoccupied when your students have gone away.
As with practically any type of buildings insurance, the cover that normally protects the property becomes severely restricted – or may lapse altogether – once the property has been unoccupied for longer than 30 to 45 consecutive days (the exact interval varying from one insurer to another).
Whilst your student tenants are away on their long holidays, therefore, you may need to consider the precaution of arranging specialist, standalone unoccupied property insurance to maintain the protection your let property requires.