What your insurer should know in relation to your rental policy.

To ensure you are fully covered when you own a rented property, you should read these tips:

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  • If your entire property is or has been unoccupied for at least 30 days, then be sure to notify your insurer/broker.
  • If your property is in close proximity to or in an area recently or historically affected by flooding and you have not confirmed this to your insurer, you should do so immediately.
  • If your property is undergoing renovation or structural changes other than routine maintenance & repairs, you should notify your insurer or broker now with the details.
  • If your property is sub-let and you have not notified your insurer, you should do so.
  • If you have let your property under the Residential Accommodation Scheme (RAS} or to the Local Authority, you must notify your insurer with full details.
  • If the tenancy of your property has changed from that which is noted on your policy document or renewal notice, then make changes to your policy now. You are obliged under the terms of your insurance policy to notify your insurer at every renewal date of any material changes to the risk. This includes any changes in tenancy type i.e. working, student, social welfare or RAS etc.
  • If you have not notified your insurer of any non-standard flat roof section to your property which exceeds 25% of the total roof area, you should do so.
  • Your policy may be subject to certain fire precautions which are outlined in your policy document or renewal notice. These precautions may exceed those which are required by law. Be sure to read and understand them and put them in to operation without delay as failure to comply may result in declinature of a future claim.
  • If you cannot comply with the warranties, conditions, subjectivities or requirements noted on your insurance policy or renewal notice, you must contact your insurer or broker. Failure to comply with these may invalidate your policy or may affect acceptance of a claim.
  • You must notify your insurer or broker of any material fact which may alter an insurers’ acceptance of the risk. If you are in doubt, you should declare the information by contacting your insurer or broker immediately.
  • You should always read and understand your policy document and/or renewal notice or statement of fact received from your insurer or broker. It is not sufficient to say you did not read these terms in the event of a declined claim.
  • If you have recently upgraded your fire alarm system and installed smoke or heat detectors throughout your property and installed fire extinguishers or tire blankets also, you should notify your insurer as you may be entitled to premium discount.
  • It is your duty to ensure that ‘good housekeeping’ is employed by you the landlord at all times whilst running a private rented property i.e. batteries in smoke detectors are renewed at regular intervals, fire extinguishers maintained or renewed at regular intervals, fire blankets are in place or replaced, fire alarm system is tested and certified in accordance with installers or makers specifications, bin areas kept clear and away from property, rubbish cleared from common areas or fire escape routes. It is not acceptable to turn a blind eye to the safety of your tenants and your property from the risk of fire.
  • Portable heaters should be taken from your property as a fire preventative as they pose a very serious fire hazard. You should replace these immediately with either fixed wall heaters or oil filled ‘Dimplex’ type portable heaters. This may be a requirement of your insurance policy or renewal.
  • Insure your property for its full rebuilding/reinstatement value as guided by the House Rebuilding Cost Guide (www.scsi.ie} or by your Auctioneer or Valuer. Remember that the Average Clause applies to most Property Owner/Landlord insurance policies.
  • Ensure that any flat roof area forming part of your property is inspected at least once every two years by a qualified builder or property surveyor and rectify any defects immediately. This may be a condition of your insurance policy i.e. Flat Roof Warranty/Condition.
  • Ensure you have placed/posted a House Rules Notice and Fire Evacuation Procedures card in a prominent position within your rented property both in common areas and in each individual unit.