How To Protect Yourself as a Landlord
When you are a landlord, it’s important to make sure your insurance policy protects you from things that are often beyond your control. Here are some of the situations and coverages to consider:
How do you legally evict a tenant?
First, make sure you have liability insurance to protect you from claims made by a tenant for “wrongful eviction.”
You’ve probably heard stories about landlords having locks changed, etc. This is illegal. As a landlord, you’re obligated to follow the rules in your state. You can’t simply change locks or remove a tenant’s possessions from their apartment. You can’t use harassing behavior or turn off utilities. If you do any of these things, the tenant could take legal action.
If the tenant does not pay the rent or continues to cause disruption of some sort, you need to present him or her with a Notice to Quit. This has to happen before filing for eviction. If it’s a rent issue, prepare all correspondence and bank statements that prove the rent isn’t being paid. Have all pertinent documents to back up your reason for the eviction.
What if you recently changed your house to a rental?
If you have converted your home into a rental space and no longer live there as your main residence, you’ll need to let your insurance carrier know. Your policy will change to a Landlord Policy, and the amount of coverage you need will be reassessed.
What if your tenants can’t pay you for a period of time?
It’s important to have Loss of Rent coverage! If there’s any reason your tenants are unable to pay rent (if they had to temporarily relocate during the restoration of the building after a storm, for instance), you will want to make sure you’re covered. Fair Rental Income Protection will ensure that you receive income even if you’re unable to collect rent during these circumstances. It can be an act of nature or if the apartment building is undergoing repairs.
How can you get the total cost back for damaged property?
Guaranteed Replacement Cost is the better coverage if property becomes damaged. This will replace the property no matter what the cost. Often, insurance carriers will only cover you for the value of the property at the time you took out the policy, which won’t always cover the current cost. That’s why you need the Guaranteed Replacement Cost.
What if someone is hurt on your property, and it’s not your fault?
Be sure you have Legal/Liability/Medical Coverage. This will protect you if a tenant or contractor is injured on the premises. It will cover their medical costs. This is one of the most important coverages, because anything can happen on your property that isn’t necessarily caused by your negligence or anything you did wrong. That’s why you want to be protected.
Zawada Insurance Agency is your go-to place for home, auto and other types of insurance. Please contact Zawada Insurance Agency for details.
Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.