Renting apartments, houses, and condos can be a lucrative way to add to your income stream, but part of being a responsible landlord is protecting yourself so that your income stream doesn’t enter the red. Understand landlord insurance in Ontario before you accept your first (or next) tenant to cover your bases.
Here are a few ways being a landlord will impact your insurance:
As a landlord, you may be liable if one of your tenants or a visitor to one of the homes you own is injured. Even if you are not found responsible in a court of law, you will generally have to pay your own legal fees.
For example, if you are aware that the front step in your building needs to be repaired, you are likely to be found liable for any injuries incurred should someone fall on said step.
Even the most conscientious landlords who continually make repairs to their rental homes to maximize the property’s safety may be liable should an accident happen, making premise liability a must for landlord insurance in Ontario.
Taking in a boarder
Yes, renting out your attic bedroom may require some kind of special insurance. It is quite common for homeowners to rent out a bedroom as part of a plan to meet large mortgage payments, but you may need to protect yourself by increasing the level of liability insurance you have for your home.
Contacting your insurance provider before entering into an agreement with a boarder will save you many headaches and help you to decide how much liability insurance you require in your case.
Interruptions in your rental income
As a landlord, you might come to rely on that income stream from renting houses or apartments, but this income could be interrupted. For example, if a tenant accidentally leaves the water running in a bathtub and causes considerable water damage to the apartment below hers, there might be a loss in rental income while the apartment is being fixed. Having the appropriate kind of landlord insurance in Ontario could fix that.
Protect your appliances, furniture, and other items
Most landlords provide basic appliances for apartments and houses, such as dishwashers, washers, and dryers for clothes, refrigerators and so on. Just as you have home insurance for your belongings in your house, you must insure your belongings that live in your rental properties.
Impressive new marble counter tops in the kitchen of a condo you rent will definitely get the attention of prospective renters, but you should know that such upgrades are usually considered building improvements and are not covered under the insurance provided by the condo corporation.
If you are planning to upgrade the condo that you rent to others in any way, speak with the condo corporation and ask if your upgrade will be covered by your regular policy.
Protecting your renovations with the appropriate level of landlord insurance in Ontario will prevent you from paying for the upgrade twice if the condo unit sustained any damage.
One more thing
As a landlord, it is wise to suggest to all of your tenants that they buy rental insurance for their belongings.
Why? Some of your tenants may believe that your home insurance covers them in the case of theft, water damage, or fire damage, but it probably doesn’t.
It is costly to replace one’s possessions, and it is important that renters understand that they should have insurance in case they ever, have to do so.
Also, should one of your rental units need to be repaired, and tenants need to find temporary housing, they should know that there are insurance policies that can help them do this.
aha insurance has policies that can protect both landlords and renters. Contact us today for more information.