1st March 2010
The worst thing that can happen to any landlord is a huge lawsuit from a tenant. Landlord liability insurance, however, is a protective canopy for anyone who rents to someone else. The truth is that no matter how careful you are as a landlord, accidents do happen. For example, a single notch in the floor could cause a tenant to fall and be injured and they could sue you for it. The right coverage will protect you.
The first thing you should know is exactly what kind of injury your tenant will actually be able to sue you for. The truth is that chances are at one point or another your tenant will get hurt on your property. However, this does not mean you are responsible and knowing when you are or are not responsible can save you a lot of stress.
The first aspect is whether or not you were aware of the damage that caused the injury. If you are an amazing landlord and hold regular inspections to find a possible defect that could cause and injury to someone then chances are, as long as the tenant has not informed you of the defect, that you are not responsible. However, it is still good practice to have landlord liability insurance on hand anyway.
The second aspect is the fact that you have to actually own whatever caused the injury. For example, if they slip and fall due to an overfilled washing machine that they own, you cannot be held responsible. The tenant is responsible for knowing that their property works and/or keeping it in working order.
Another thing that may make your tenant rather than you liable is how they are handling the property. They have to be using the furniture and etcetera in the manner they are supposed to be used. A good example would be if your tenant was using a flimsy chair to stand on to screw a curtain rod up. If the chair breaks and they get hurt you are not responsible.
Landlord liability insurance will protect you in a case where a tenant does decide to take their claim to court. It will pay for the court costs and legal fees. If the tenant wins the case then the agency that you chose will be the ones dishing out all the money for a disability, medical bills, and any losses in earnings because of the injury. On top of that any of his property is damaged the insurance agency will pay for.
If you want a little more coverage you can always find an agency that can provide you with extra landlord liability insurance so you can be even better covered. Some of the extra protection they can provide you can include protection in case your tenant wins a claim due to an illegal eviction, slander, unfair treatment, or if you violate their rights knowingly or unknowingly.
The most important thing to remember is that this coverage is to protect you. This Landlord Liability Insurance will enable you to sleep peacefully.