Nottingham has become one of the UK’s rental property hotspots. In 2019 the city enjoyed the highest rent rise in the UK with average rents jumping by 5.8% according to figures from Zoopla, and demand for landlord insurance quotes from Nottingham’s landlords has never been higher. The tax changes of recent years have seen many smaller, buy-to-let landlords leave the market and this has squeezed the available housing stock hard. Add to this the continued surge of students into the city – up from 45,000 in 2017 to over 50,000 in 2020 – and its easy to see why the market has become so feverish.
Student accommodation has become one of the market’s biggest growth areas. Only last week the Council announced that they had received an ‘unprecedented’ number of applications to build more student accommodation. Over 7,600 student rentals are now either undergoing planning consideration or are under construction. With a recession likely thanks to Coronavirus and many fearful, in the short-term at least, that the wider property market will take a hit and with students being one of those groups that are traditionally less affected by such downturns, its likely that more and more people will be drawn to becoming student landlords.
Being a student landlord isn’t without its challenges, however, particularly when it comes to insurance. So; if you are thinking of cashing-in on Nottingham’s latest property opportunity, here’s Coversure Nottingham’s – Nottingham’s leading property insurance brokers – guide to student landlord cover. We hope that you will find it helpful, but if you would like some personalised advice, then please feel free to get in touch. You can call us on (0115) 837 0984, email the Coversure Nottingham team or have a live chat with us.
Student Landlord’s Insurance Guide
Having 50,000 students in a city with a population of just over 289,000 makes Nottingham a true student hub. This presents a significant opportunity for landlords but brings with it issues that are less commonly associated with more straightforward long-term buy-to-let rentals. Consider the issue of having a house in multiple occupation – an HMO. Now while much of the new student accommodation in the city is being purpose-built, a large proportion of it is houses that have been converted to accommodate multiple people who aren’t members of the same family. To be classified as an HMO the property needs have at least three tenants forming more than one household (i.e. they aren’t living as a single unit as a family would) and they have to share basic amenities such as a bathroom. From an insurers’ perspective there’s an increased risk with properties such as these as having communal areas and shared facilities – kitchen, bathroom etc. – increases the likelihood of damage or a claim.
Even if your property is purpose built, there are some specific issues that you’ll want to consider when getting a landlord insurance quote, these include
• Unoccupied property – ask any landlord what keeps them awake at night and they’ll most likely say having an empty let. Not only does it represent an asset without a return, it also creates problems around unoccupied property insurance. Student holidays are famously long with the summer break lasting months rather than weeks. If your property is left vacant for an extended period of time – often anywhere from 30 days or more – then your standard landlord insurance may not cover you. This is because it is at greater risk of things like burglary and being empty if there’s a fire or flood the damage could be far worse as no one is there to raise the alarm.
• Contents cover – while the Young Ones with their stair rods on the fire and digging for oil in the cellar were extreme exaggerations, students are notoriously hard on rental properties – especially when it comes to its contents. Accidents will happen but you’ll also be wise to take out malicious damage cover too as part of your policy. Typically, this will protect your contents against wilful damage by tenants and members of the public, i.e. their visitors, and can be extended to cover damage to buildings as well.
• Rent guarantee – historically students have been notorious for doing ‘midnight flits’ whereby they leave their digs owing the landlord a chunk of unpaid rent. While making sure any deposit you make them put down is hefty enough to deter this, it’s also worth considering having a rent guarantee insurance policy as part of your cover. This will protect your rental income in the event of issues such as eviction, property repair and renovation and health and safety prosecutions.
• Loss of rent – if your property becomes uninhabitable due to fire, flood or another insured problem, it could take time to complete the repairs and you could find yourself without an income. This is why it makes sense to choose a student landlord insurance policy that includes loss of rent cover. Indemnity periods can be tailored up to three years from the date when the loss occurred and many policies can also cover the costs of alternative accommodation for your tenants.
• Landlord home emergency – this can be added to your buildings and/or contents policy to protect your property and your tenants against the loss of essential services. This cover protects you 24-hours a day for emergencies in connection with things like plumbing and heating problems, security of doors and windows, drain and sewer blockages, lost keys and power failures.
• Accidental damage caused by tenants – accidents can happen. Putting a nail through a pipe or spilling wine on a sofa, are just two common examples of where accidental damage cover could be helpful to you.
Like Some Landlord Insurance Help?
We hope you have found this guide to student landlord insurance useful. If you’d like some help protecting your rental property, then please call the Coversure Nottingham team on (0115) 837 0984, email the Coversure Nottingham team or have a live chat with us.