And the biggest cause of damage to BTL properties is…..?

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New research shows that accidental damage to flooring is the main cause of insurance claims for tenants (42%), followed by furniture (22%) and damage to the property (18%).

The humble iron is the demon of buy-to-let properties, being the major cause of damage to floor coverings, such as vinyl and carpets, with an average claim of £380. Damage to the building including décor, curtains, blinds and outside areas has an average claim value of £566.

The claims data, analysed by LetRisks, also reveals that that the most expensive damage to buy-to-let property is fire and smoke damage. Though it only constitutes 8% of claims, it responsible for the largest claims, with the average being £4,692 with some claims exceeding £100,000. This is followed by water damage, which constitutes 10% of claims, and has an average claim of £690.

Michael Portman, Managing Director of LetRisks comments: “This highlights the risks of letting a property, and the need for both tenants and landlords to protect their interests.

Recent TDS stats show that general damage to the landlords property constitutes 45% of tenant disputes. A well prepared inventory is paramount, as this will help protect the landlord against a dispute. A thorough and professional check-in and check-out at the start and end of a tenancy is a must.

Whilst many tenants take out insurance cover for their possessions, this is a useful reminder for both tenants and landlords to consider the risks and how they could minimise them, by taking out the appropriate levels of insurance. Specialist tenant policies cover accidental damage to landlords’ property which helps protect the deposit and provides peace of mind. As part of their service, some letting agents can arrange this insurance or provide guidance on where to find this cover.”