To be seen pottering along the highways and byways of Luton in her Mini Clubman, her trusted Scottie Malcolm at her side, our super sleuthing property rental expert Ms Lucinda Newell is on the case on your behalf!
To Insure or Not Insure – That is The Question!
A couple of my tenancies were up for renewal last week, so I took the opportunity to review the general profitability of the houses concerned. Being a Wiley old gal, I was looking at how to reduce my costs and decided to put a call in to my old pal Rob Wellstead, Managing Director of Lenwell Property Services. I was particularly keen to know whether the Rent and Legal Guarantee Insurance I had through Homelet was worth the monthly premium!
Where a property is managed by Lenwell landlords can take advantage of a rent and legal protection insurance policy. This insurance pays rent and legal expenses in the event of default by the tenant and currently costs 3.5 % of the monthly rent. Yes, and before you say it, I know that there are a number of policies offered by less reputable firms, claiming to be rent and legal expense policies, that are free, but, if you check the small print they invariably have huge excesses and do not cover the full term only the first tenancy period (for example you may have a tenant who stays in a property for 18 months but only the first 6 months would be covered). As with all these things small print matters!
So, in an attempt to illustrate the reasons why Homelet’s Rent and Legal Protection Insurance is such a good idea, Rob provided me with ‘a day in the life’ snapshot of the calls they get on non-payment of rent!
Monday 10.00am Miss W arrives to pay her rent. As with last month she embarks on an account of why she does not have the correct money. Sometimes she is £5.00 out sometimes £100.00. She is a young single mum and while her life is tough, the Landlord has a mortgage to pay.
Monday 12.00pm Call received from Mrs X. She informs Lenwell that she will not be paying the full amount of rent this month as her property is shrinking. She knows this for a fact as the tiles in the bathroom are falling off.
Monday 2.00pm Mr & Mrs Y are called as they are late with their rent. Lenwell explain the importance of timely rent payments. They express their surprise! ‘We’ve been getting much better they say – we’ve been in much worse arrears than this before’.
Monday 4.00pm Mr Z is called about his outstanding rent. He explains that he is not paying his rent as the property is haunted. He has spoken to the ghost and asked him to leave but this (to date) hasn’t worked. By now, the Credit Controller at Lenwell is losing her sense of humour. She explains to Mr Z that sub letting is not allowed under the tenancy agreement and unless he wishes Lenwell to notify the Landlord, he should pay the rent immediately!
The day concludes with 2 further calls from tenants who have recently lost their jobs.
OK, OK you’ve rumbled me – these didn’t all happen on the same day (but a writer needs a certain amount of artistic license) and obviously the rigorous referencing procedures in place at Lenwell make such happenings unlikely!
What Rob and I are trying to illustrate (in an obviously slightly tongue in cheek way) is that the unforeseen does happen – frequently! When you have the number of properties that Lenwell have under management you will get to see the whole gamut of society and this will include the unfortunate, the trying it on, the oblivious and the slightly peculiar. The bottom line is that your Rental property is a business and tea and sympathy won’t pay the bills.
So in answer to the question – Insure and do it now!
Come on Malcolm - Walkies!!
If you have and questions, subject matter suggestions, or would like copies of any of the archive articles, email me at email@example.com
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