If I Rent Out a Furnished Apartment, Are My Tenants Contents Covered?
Caeva O'Callaghan | April 9th, 2021
Renting out an apartment which is furnished can make it more attractive to potential tenants. But if you get contents insurance, will this protect the items your tenants own as well?
No. Only items of furniture owned by you will be covered. You have no insurable interest in your tenant’s belongings. It’s up to your tenant to insure their own belongings.
If a fire or flood damages contents in the property you own, you will not receive compensation for anything that isn’t yours. You should make sure your tenants know they need contents insurance before they move in.
In this article, we’ll answer questions like:
- If I rent out my apartment, what insurance do my tenants need?
- What’s the difference between buildings and contents insurance?
- What home insurance do I need as a landlord?
When your tenants have their own contents policy, it will cover the furniture and other items they bring into your apartment.
Insuring your furnished apartment
When you’re a landlord, you need a bit more cover than your standard buildings and contents home insurance. This is because renting out a property you own to someone else will involve risks which normal home insurance won’t cover.
When you rent out an apartment which comes fully or part furnished, you need contents insurance to cover what you own inside. This is in addition to the buildings insurance you should have to cover damage to the fixtures and exterior of the property.
But your home insurance contents policy will only cover items belonging to you, the landlord. If you rent out an apartment which is fully or part furnished, your home insurance will cover items which you own.
This may include things like:
- Upholstery such as curtains and carpets
- Sofas and chairs
- Tables, units and shelves
- Beds and wardrobes
- Kitchen equipment
You should look at landlord-specific insurance to cover all possible risks. Landlord’s insurance will include the normal buildings and contents insurance, as well as risks specific to landlords only.
For example, landlords’ insurance will typically include cover for:
- Third party claims
- Rehousing tenants or paying for lost rent after an event like a flood or fire
- Fire brigade charges
- Door lock replacement
- Escape of water
Home insurance for tenants
Landlords have no insurable interest in their tenants’ belongings. If a disaster occurs and you -the landlord – are not at fault, it is not your responsibility to repair or replace anything that isn’t yours.
Before moving into a part or fully furnished apartment, it is essential your tenants have contents-only cover in place. This will protect their belongings, and their belongings only. If you are a landlord, it’s a good idea to make having a contents insurance policy in place part of your lease agreement, to avoid headaches down the road.
Remember, contents include anything that would fall out if you turned the apartment upside-down. So while your furniture and upholstery are contents, so are your tenants’ electronics, clothes and sentimental items.
But when it comes to insurance, the distinction is perfectly clear: you need to each insure what you own.
The kitchen sink and windows fall under your landlord’s buildings insurance. Any integrated appliances actually fall under contents, even though they’re affixed firmly in place, because they’re very easily swapped out. If you include appliances like these in your lease, it’s a good idea to include these in your policy.
Write an inventory
To be absolutely clear, you need to declare everything you own as a landlord on your insurance policy when you get a quote. There’s no use trying to keep your premiums down by leaving things off. You’ll only be paying out of pocket to repair or replace the items should the worst happen.
A good idea is to walk around the apartment, furnished as much as you are including, before your tenants move in. Make a note of everything you are including in the lease, and take photographs. Make note of their current condition. Doing so will help protect you against damage from your tenants as well as from natural disasters and other risks.
Give us a call with any of your landlord and home insurance questions!
If you have any questions about renting out your property and the insurance needed to protect you are your tenants give us a call and we can advise you on what insurance you may need as a landlord. We can also help you advise your tenants before they move in about their home insurance needs.