Do landlords need public liability insurance?

Landlords will need public liability insurance to provide financial protection from any third party claims made against them for injury or property damage. If you are a landlord looking for landlord liability insurance quotes, NimbleFins suggests comparing offers from multiple providers to find a good deal as prices can vary.

Renting out a property means that there are numerous incidents that can happen, leaving you on the wrong end of a claim. Any rental property that is occupied by tenants will require care and maintenance to keep it up to an acceptable standard. Failure to do so can result in accidents and problems.

It is a legal requirement that landlords maintain the property, fix repairs or correct issues in a timely manner, and comply with health and safety rules. Failure to maintain the property can result in accidents or harmful incidents that may trigger a claim from the property tenants. Without the correct insurance in place, this can mean that the landlord is personally responsible for covering any and all financial costs associated with the claim.

Public liability insurance for landlords is not required by law but having it in place will shield against claims from incidents that happen to tenants and other visitors to the property. This insurance covers the cost of a legal defence and will pay for any settlements that are awarded to successful claimants, without the landlord having to use personal funds or assets.

Apart from liability insurance, there are several other protections that landlords can invest in to protect their property investment and their finances. This can include coverage for things like:

  • Buildings cover
  • Contents insurance
  • Loss of rental income
  • Tenant default insurance
  • Accidental damage 

What is liability to landlord insurance?

Landlord liability insurance is a form of public liability insurance that is designed for those that are in the business of renting out property privately or commercially. It protects landlords from claims made by tenants, property visitors, and tradespeople, for accidents, death, disease, and property damage.

Costs of claims can be high as things like lost income or medical expenses are frequently included so it is important to have a policy that will cover any eventuality. For this reason, public liability insurance is typically included in landlord liability insurance and coverage ranges from £2 to £5 million on average. Higher policies may be obtained if needed or for properties that carry more risk, such as commercial office buildings.

There are many possible reasons for a claim to be brought against a landlord. Slips, trips, and falls are common, or issues arising from poor maintenance or management can also create problems. If the landlord is found by the court to be negligent or failing to maintain a reasonable standard of care for the property, then the courts would award compensation.

The type of claims that can be brought by building occupants are things like:

  • Falls and trips on uneven or broken flooring. This can include areas to the exterior of the property such as steps or uneven paving.
  • Health conditions like respiratory problems exacerbated by damp or mould in the property that is not attended to quickly.
  • Injury caused by defective wiring or electrical sockets.
  • Defective pipework affecting gas or water.

Regardless of who is renting the property, the landlord will be responsible for any incidents that occur. If a family member or friend is renting the property it is still possible for them to leverage a claim against the landlord for accidents or poor maintenance, so it is wise to have adequate liability coverage.


Do I need public liability insurance as a landlord in the UK?

Landlords that rent their property whether privately or commercially typically invest in some type of liability insurance to protect from possible claims. While liability insurance is not required by law, landlords understand the value and financial protection that is provided by this type of policy.

As claims against landlords can easily run into thousands of pounds, the monthly premium for a landlord’s liability insurance policy may be viewed as relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of a successful claim and subsequent settlement payment.

There may be some occasions where having landlord liability insurance might be necessary. If you are a landlord that purchases property on a buy-to-let mortgage, the lender may insist that liability insurance is in place and specify the coverage levels needed.

If a property is being rented that is part of another building such as a flat or apartment then landlords insurance may be required before allowing a tenant to reside in the property. For commercial rental, local authorities or other official entities may demand that certain types of insurance are in place.