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Guide to Landlord Insurance For Non-UK Residents

There are several reasons why, as a non-residential landlord, you might have to oversee your rental property in the UK while living abroad. Whether you're an expat landlord or temporarily residing abroad, it's crucial to safeguard your investment and tenants with overseas landlords or non-resident landlord insurance. This will enable you to continue living out of the country while earning rental income from the UK property

Who qualifies as a non-resident landlord?

A non-resident landlord is someone who owns property in the UK and rents it out but lives overseas for more than six months in a tax year.

If HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) determines that a landlord's primary place of residence is in another country, even if they still have UK tax residency, they are considered a non-resident landlord.

This category includes:

  • People who live overseas as part of the armed services or hold other roles in the Crown, like diplomats and ambassadors.
  • Companies and trustees whose main place of business or registered office is located outside the UK.

What are some of the challenges non-resident landlords often encounter?

Renting property to tenants can be a profitable source of income, but it also carries certain risks, especially when you are out of the country. 

Despite careful occupant selection, accidents and issues can arise, and landlords should be aware of the following such challenges:

  • Damage from Events: Fire, floods, severe weather, and structural issues are potential risks that landlords, like all property owners, must consider. These events are typically covered by property insurance.
  • Property Damage: In some cases, occupants may unintentionally damage the property, and the security deposit might not cover the repair costs. Serious damage may necessitate an insurance claim.
  • Public Liability: Landlords can be held responsible for injuries or damages suffered by tenants if they can prove that the rental property was the cause due to safety or maintenance issues. This can lead to costly legal claims.
  • Maintenance and Upkeep Costs: Landlords are responsible for ongoing property maintenance and repairs, even when tenants are in occupancy.

What are the common components of non-residential Landlord insurance coverage?

In the UK, Landlord insurance policies can differ between insurers, but they typically provide coverage for damage to your property resulting from events like fires, floods, storms, falling trees, theft, and vandalism.

Following are some of the main types which you can get:

Landlord Contents Cover

This includes contents cover for damage to the furniture and items you provide in the rental property, such as carpets, curtains, tables, chairs, and sofas. You don't need to insure your occupant belongings; they are responsible for their own possessions.

Landlord Liability

This covers legal fees and compensation if someone, like an electrician, tenant, or their guests, incurs injury or has their property damaged due to issues with your property. For instance, if a tenant trips over a damaged floor and gets injured.

Unoccupied Property Insurance cover

This property is for times when your property is empty or not occupied by tenants. Having Unoccupied property insurance will make sure that you've covered for all the associated risks.

Additionally, you can often customise your landlord insurance policy with optional cover such as:

Rent Guarantee Insurance

This compensates you for the lost rental income if your tenant stops paying due to an insurable event, like a fire or flood. It's sometimes called tenant default insurance, but it might have conditions, like requiring tenant credit checks and having compensation limits.

Loss of Rent Insurance

This coverage helps when your tenant has to move out due to property issues, like damage from a fire. So, If you find yourself unable to collect rent from a tenant due to such a situation, this loss of rent insurance coverage would ensure that you receive compensation until you can resolve the problem with the tenant or go through the eviction process if necessary.

Is it mandatory to have non-resident landlord insurance for uk property?

No, there's no legal requirement for expat landlords to have a specific insurance cover for their rental property. However, standard home insurance doesn't provide coverage for rental activities. If you have a mortgage on your property, it's highly probable that your lender will insist on insurance before you rent it out. 

Also, having non-residential landlord insurance can provide peace of mind, especially for landlords living abroad. It assures you that your properties are protected, and you won't need to worry about unexpected costs or issues, knowing that your investment is in safe hands.

Bottom Line

If you are a Landlord living outside the UK, the ideal landlord insurance policy is the one that fits your unique requirements. It's advisable to create a list of essential features you need before you begin comparing policies or checking out for a flexible cover. This approach ensures that you can confidently select an insurance policy that provides comprehensive protection tailored to your needs.

How much does non-resident Landlord insurance typically cost?

It's challenging to provide an exact cost for landlord insurance since policies vary. While it might be tempting to opt for the cheapest cover based solely on price, it may not be the best long-term decision. The key factors that go towards arriving at expat landlord insurance quote include:

  • The Value of Property or properties if you need multi landlord insurance also called portfolio insurance
  • The level of cover that you require and the cost of any additional extras that you choose to add, example loss of rent cover.
  • The post code of the property, if in a high theft area then expect to pay more 
  • Type of tenants, example student landlord insurance and HMO landlord insurance will come with increased risk if for example let out to a professional. 

Who provides Expat Landlord Insurance?

Landlord insurance for this living overseas is available from John Lewis, Total Landlord Insurance, Tesco, Just Landlords and many others

Need help working out the Weekly Rental amount?

Easily convert weekly rent to the equivalent monthly rent and monthly rental to weekly rent with our easy-to-use rent weekly to month rent calculator, designed for both landlords and tenants

Do you need overseas Landlord insurance if you are renting out a Flat?

If you're renting out a flat, the situation is similar to renting out a house. Generally, you'll need overseas landlord insurance rather than standard residential home insurance to protect your properties if you are living overseas.

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