You’ve poured your hard earned cash into a rental property and you’ve probably spent a lot of time and energy getting it ready to rent. Now you need to make sure that your investment is protected. These are two key ways to do that:
- The inventory protects you and the tenant. It is a list of the entire contents, fixtures, fitting and decoration in the property, and their condition.
- A good inventory should list the contents of each room (down to the last plate, bowl and pillowcase) and indicate their condition as well as the paintwork on the wall, the curtains, carpets, doors, windows, bathroom suite, kitchen cupboards, appliances (including brand) etc.
- It should be accompanied by photographs and videos. When the tenant moves in, it is a good idea to go through this inventory with them, even if this takes some time, and have them initial each page and sign at the end, to show that they agree (ideally with a witness). Unfurnished properties need this just as much as furnished.
- It’s a bit tedious to produce and check an inventory but you will be glad you did it when the tenant moves out - we can guarantee it.
- Insurers will expect you to switch over to ‘insurance for rented property’. It will be more expensive but don’t ‘forget’ to do this – otherwise your insurance may not be valid when you need to make a claim.
- Contact your insurance agency before the tenant moves in. Trust us… you need to do this. Not all insurance companies offer this cover and you will need to find the appropriate agency to suit your needs.
- This insurance can also cover loss of rent if a tenant doesn’t pay and/or the legal costs of evicting a tenant. It is well worth considering these options, especially if you are paying a mortgage. It should also cover theft, fire and smoke damage, vandalism or malicious damage, lightning and earthquake damage, storm and flood damage. It will also cover third party liability. Some insurers cover broken windows, bathroom and kitchen fittings, leaks, locks and keys.