Evictions can be costly, time-consuming and extremely stressful for landlords. Especially when you think about the fact that with each passing day, week or month you are losing out on valuable rental income and potentially falling further and further behind with your mortgage payments.
Insurance providers realised that there was clear demand for additional cover to help with the costs of eviction alongside traditional rental protection insurance, and the vast majority of good quality providers will offer legal expenses cover with their standard rent guarantee insurance policy.
For example, TheHouseShop’s standard Rental Protection Insurance policy will pay out up to £100,000 per claim towards the legal costs of evicting a tenant, on top of any pay-out to cover lost rental income. TheHouseShop also give landlords access to a free 24-hour legal advice helpline, so landlords can get advice on the best way to go about evicting their tenants and minimise any delays or disruption in the eviction proceedings.
Will I Have to Evict Tenants Myself?
With some rent protection policies, the provider will actually handle the serving of the eviction notice for you as well! The insurance provider will work out whether a Section 8 or Section 21 notice will be needed to successfully start eviction proceedings (although it sounds simple, you would be surprised how many landlords accidentally use the wrong type of eviction notice and end up having to start the process all over again!). They will also insure that the notice is served correctly and that any pre-eviction warnings have been issued to the tenants (again, if you fail to give your tenants fair warning before serving an eviction notice, you may find that you are unable to proceed with the eviction process further down the line).
Top Tip: If you’re going to be handling the eviction process yourself, check out this really useful article about how to quickly evict your tenants without falling foul of the law: How To Evict Tenants Quickly | TheHouseShop Blog
Or give our landlord advice helpline a call, they offer specialist advice for landlords from qualified lawyers who can help you with your eviction process.
Call now on 0800 368 7554
Once you have successfully evicted your tenant, you then have to worry about the cost of the void period when the property is unoccupied while you look for new tenants. The best rental protection insurance policies will also offer to cover some or all of the rent for a fixed period of time after you evict your tenants. You will need to look into each rent protection policy in detail to find out exactly how much cover is offered post-eviction, and for how long that cover will last. We have struggled to find a better deal than TheHouseShop’s offer of 75% of the monthly rent payable covered for up to 2 months after vacant possession has been gained – so it’s well worth giving their Rent Protection Insurance a look.
Legal Expenses Cover and Rent Protection Insurance
Legal expenses cover can be a really valuable tool in your insurance armoury, but some providers will ask you to purchase legal cover as a separate additional extra – so try to find a policy that includes legal expenses cover as standard if at all possible. You should also be aware that your policy may state that you can only employ a solicitor from the insurance provider’s chosen firm or group of firms. If this is the case then you should ask your provider which firms they work with and do your research to ensure that you don’t end up stuck with a costly and inefficient solicitor.
Depending on the exact specifications of your legal expenses cover, you may find that the cover will go beyond just evictions and will actually help to cover your legal costs for other types of disputes relating to the tenancy. For example, if your tenant has done significant damage to the property, whether accidentally or maliciously, and refuses to address the issue or pay for the damage, you may need to take them to court to resolve the matter. Legal expenses cover for cases like this can be hugely valuable and could make the difference between you recouping the costs of the damage or not.
Landlords without legal expenses insurance cover in place are generally wary about escalating a dispute through the legal system as they worry that they will not be able to afford the sizable legal costs – even if they are sure that they are in the right and would win compensation. It can be incredibly frustrating to find yourself unable to risk the costs of going to court, even when you are sure you have a valid case – so it’s well worth taking a serious look at an insurance policy that will offer some kind of cover for legal costs.
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