Anything can happen. That’s a lesson all of us have learned over the last year. As a rental property owner, you have to be prepared for any possible catastrophe – whether it’s a storm, a pandemic, or an awful tenant who seems to be intent on destroying your property.
How can you best protect your Fort Worth rental property from risk and damage?
It starts with insurance. While a good landlord policy isn’t going to save you from every possible scenario, it will protect you against the cost that comes with property damage.
Insuring Your Home with a Strong Landlord Policy
Make sure you have the right insurance policy in place. If you’ve lived in your home previously, you may still have a homeowner insurance policy, and that’s not going to cover you when you’re renting out the property to tenants. Your homeowner policy only serves you when you’re occupying the home.
A landlord policy protects your dwelling against any physical damages to the structure or systems of the home caused by fire, lightning, wind, hail, ice, or other covered perils. It also covers your own personal property that’s in the home, such as appliances. Your landlord insurance offers liability coverage as well. If your tenant gets hurt or a guest falls down the stairs, you’ll be covered for legal fees and health care bills.
Most landlord policies provide coverage for a specific term when there’s a loss of rental income. If you are not able to rent out the property while it is being repaired or rebuilt due to damage from a covered loss, you’ll have that lost rent covered.
The major difference between the landlord policy and your homeowner policy is that the landlord policy does not cover the contents of the property. If a leak destroys your floors, the policy will pay to replace or repair the floors, but not the tenant’s television that was damaged.
Requiring Renter’s Insurance from Tenants
The lack of coverage for your tenant’s possessions means that a renter’s insurance policy is an excellent idea. Write this requirement into your lease agreement for your tenant’s protection. These policies are usually very inexpensive and can usually be bundled into their auto insurance for no more than $12 or $15 a month.
A renter’s insurance policy will also protect your tenants from any liability that may come from unintentional acts. If they start a fire in your kitchen, for example, after leaving the stove on, their insurance policy will pay for that damage.
Insurance is the first step in protecting your property from damage that can occur due to a tenant’s actions or general disasters. The best way to protect your investment property is by working with a professional Fort Worth property management company. We can help with inspections, tenant screening, and preventative maintenance. All of these things, as well as our legal knowledge, protects you against damage and risk.
Make sure you check in with your insurance agent annually to ensure your policy is up to date. If you have any questions about insurance or anything pertaining to Fort Worth rental real estate, please contact us at Trend Property & Management.