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Problem tenants put your landlord at risk

19 July 2013 Reporter

A St Kilda tenant who cut a hole in the concrete floor of his rented apartment has spurred an insurance company to release a new e-book to inform property managers and landlords of insurance pitfalls they may encounter.

Earlier this year, a 'hands-on' tenant cut a hole in the floor of his rented apartment to expand the property into two vacant neighbouring units.

According to the property manager, the tenant cut a one-metre by two-metre hole in the concrete floor of his apartment in order to gain access to the unit below. There, he demolished the kitchen to make way for a staircase to connect the apartments. But he didn't stop there; the tenant then knocked a hole through the double-brick wall to unit four, next door.

While the landlord had insurance on the property, Brett Clark, national marketing manager at EBM Insurance Brokers, said such actions could well have left the landlord exposed to an expensive damages claim.

It was this risk that convinced the landlord insurance company, RentCover, to release an informative e-book.

Mr Clark said the fact not all insurance options were the same made it difficult for people to weigh up the benefits of one policy over another.

“After more than 20 years in the industry, I wanted to set down some of the key mistakes landlords make all too often when buying — or failing to buy — insurance,” said Mr Clark, the author of 12 Most Common Pitfalls When Insuring Your Rental Property.

“People often spend more time choosing a flat-screen TV than insurance for their rental property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Often the glossiest brochure or cheapest price wins out and the landlord is left exposed.

“This e-book can help landlords differentiate between effective and inadequate insurance policies, whether they end up choosing us or not.”

Common pitfalls include policies that do not pay out on claims when a fire is deliberately started by a tenant, properties on a month-to-month lease or accidental damage by a tenant.

The full e-book is available free of charge via the RentCover’s website.

Problem tenants put your landlord at risk
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