Landlord’s liability insurance “essential” say Let Risks

Landlord insurance specialists, Let Risks, advise that it has never been more important for landlords to have property owner’s liability insurance in place. Citing a recent ruling (Edwards v Kumarasamy (2015)) that saw a landlord held responsible for a tenant’s injuries following a fall on a path outside his building. The tenant lived in a second floor flat and had been taking out the rubbish when he tripped over an uneven paving stone in the path between the front door of the block and the communal bins in the car park. As a result of the fall the tenant injured his knee and was awarded £3,750 in damages.

The Judge ruled that the path was part of the exterior of the flat and although this was overturned on appeal because the tenant had not notified the landlord of the fault in the path, a further appeal upheld the original judgment on the basis that the landlord was obliged to maintain any part of the structure or exterior in which he has an estate or interest. This included the path as it provided essential means of access and constituted part of the exterior of the front hall in which the landlord did have a legal interest. In addition, as the path was external, the landlord was still held liable, even with no notice of disrepair. This was because under Section 11 of The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 his obligations include ensuring his property is inspected and maintained at all times to safeguard the tenant’s enjoyment of his home.

This case highlights the need to ensure tenants are fully aware of whom they should contact for repairs. It is also imperative that they are made aware that they should get in touch with their landlord or agent as soon as they notice anything that may cause accident or injury and not after such an event has taken place.

Liability insurance is usually available under a specialist landlord’s contents policy, in addition to the buildings policy arranged by the freeholder or management company. For further information Let Risks can be contacted on 0845 072 0292.

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