Insurance Considerations for buying, selling or letting a flat

Whether you are buying or letting your property there are a range of insurance considerations that you will need to think about.

Buying a flat
Buying a Flat is very different to buying a house. Firstly, your Residents Management Company, Residents Association or Freeholder/Landlord will normally organise the insurance for your complete block rather than you needing to organise your own “personal” insurance policy,

If flat owners insured themselves separately then the risk of one of the owners not insuring at all or not insuring with a suitable level of cover would become a danger, thankfully most leases do have a requirement for an insurance policy covering all units to be arranged for the block. As most blocks of flats have communal areas and ground this ensures the complete estate stays protected including lifts, paths, paving, fences, gates, car parks etc including liability risks to protect residents, visitors and employees.

Most flats insurance policies are very comprehensive, the key areas you need to ensure are included are described in this feature.

Letting a flat

More and more of us are purchasing flats for investment properties. As a landlord cover you should consider includes:

  • Landlords Contents Insurance – to cover your contents as a landlord which can be as simple as white goods
  • Rent Guarantee – which provides legal assistance to repossess your property, obtain rent arrears and dilapidation costs
  • Deposit Legal Protection - deposits being held by a landlord creates a problem where tenants need to raise another deposit before they can move. More popular these days are Deposit Legal Protection policies which provide assistance to claim dilapidations cover at the point the tenant leaves.
  • Home Emergency – as a landlord you can’t always be around at the time of an emergency! Landlords Home Emergency cover will ensure there is someone at hand at any time of the day and night.

Selling your flat
When you chose to sell your Flat your solicitor will normally require documentation to complete the conveyancing process, for example a copy lease and a copy of your insurance documents. If you have a property managing agent they can normally provide a suitable pack including all that will be required. If you don’t have a property managing agent, your conveyancing solicitor will be able to obtain the majority of these documents from your Residents’ Management Company, Association or Freeholder.

Belinda Thorpe is the Managing Director of Residentsline whose exclusive Residential Buildings Insurance policies are designed specifically for blocks of flats and apartments.