If you are a landlord, students in search of somewhere to live whilst they are away from home studying, represent a huge potential market.
The most recent figures provided by Universities UK reveals that there are around 2.3 million of full and part-time, domestic and foreign, students in the country and the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has said that 2018 was a record year for the number of admissions to universities and colleges.
If you are going to accept students as your tenants then you need suitable insurance, so here are some of the most frequently asked questions about student let insurance.
Do all insurers offer student let insurance?
No. Some policies offered by landlord insurance providers specifically exclude cover for certain categories of tenant – including students.
If you are a landlord looking to tap into this potentially lucrative market, therefore, it is important to make sure that any landlord insurance you are offered extends to cover for student tenants.
Why are some insurers so wary about student tenants?
Not all students conform to the stereotype of loud, untidy, irresponsible and party-loving youth, of course – but those that do make some insurers nervous about the increased potential for breakages, damages and even malicious damage.
By and large, students tend not to have the highest or most stable incomes in the world, so some insurers may worry about the difficulties encountered by landlords in receiving the rents they are due.
Students are also known for their long holidays, especially at the end of each academic year. This is the time that they may choose to go home – or make extended travel plans – so terminating their tenancy and leaving the landlord a void that is difficult to fill until the beginning of the new term and the arrival of potential tenants. During that void, the let property may be empty and unoccupied, leaving the premises more than usually vulnerable, and in need of additional, standalone unoccupied property insurance.
What is covered by student let insurance?
Even amongst those insurance providers entirely happy with your accepting students as tenants, there are differences in the extent of cover provided.
Nevertheless, the principal elements may be typically grouped under 4 broad headings:
- this is designed to protect the very structure and fabric of your let property against such major risks as explosions, flooding, fire, storm damage, impacts, vandalism and theft – with the total building sum insured enough to cover the cost of completely clearing the site and reconstructing the premises following a total loss;
- although your tenants are likely to be responsible for insuring their own contents, any items you own – in the common areas of shared student accommodation, for example – need the protection of contents insurance;
- some policies may even extend that protection against acts of malicious damage by your tenants to the building or its contents;
Landlord liability insurance
- just as with other forms of landlord insurance, student let insurance also needs to provide indemnity against claims made by tenants, their visitors, neighbours, or members of the public who may be injured or have their property damaged and, since you are the landlord, hold you responsible;
- landlord liability insurance typically offers a minimum of £1 million indemnity, but some policies provide a high a figure as £5 million;
Compensation for loss of rental income
- if there is a major insured event, your let property may become temporarily uninhabitable pending the necessary repairs and you suffer a loss of rental income;
- student let insurance typically may offer compensation for such loss of rental income – up to prescribed limits.
Do I need to consult a specialist provider of landlords student insurance?
Since student let insurance clearly provides a specialist form of cover – which by no means all providers may offer – you might want to ensure that you consult a specialist provider when arranging the insurance.