Do landlords have to inspect rentals for insurance to pay out?

Landlord-specific insurance usually requires three or six-monthly inspections.

While standard house and contents insurance policies, such as under AA Insurance and Vero don’t specify rental checks as a requirement for cover, optional landlord-specific covers for things such as loss of rent and malicious, intentional or deliberate damage, do.

To comply with AAI’s landlord policy, landlords are required to get references from prospective tenants, collect at least a week’s rent and two weeks’ bond in advance, contact tenants in writing if rent falls seven days or more behind (further contact is required at 14 days) and complete a six-monthly rental inspection with a written record.

Similarly, Vero’s LandlordPlan policy wording specifies that properties must be inspected internally and externally at six-monthly intervals, or sooner if there’s a change of tenant.

It’s important that landlords read their policy carefully to ensure they’ve selected a product suitable to their needs and are fully aware of their obligations as a landlord. Some policies have limits for things such as meth contamination and what level of contamination will trigger a claim.

Tenancy Services state landlords should give at least 48 hours’ notice of the inspection and take a record of it. “Landlords should take a digital camera, the property inspection report for reference and take photos where appropriate, taking care not to include the tenant’s belongings”.

While inspections can’t be more frequent than once every four weeks and must be done between 8am and 7pm, tenants are required to be reasonable in agreeing to them.

Landlord-specific insurance policies require six-monthly inspections with many now requiring three-monthly inspections before they’ll pay out, backed by a written record.

Rental inspections are necessary for maintenance, safety, and insurance reasons.  Tenants wanting to live in a well-maintained property may welcome the intrusion, while landlords have the satisfaction that their nest egg is taken care of.

 

Some of the wording taken from Real Landlord Insurance Policy:

Real Landlord Insurance

Your/your property manager’s obligations

You, and/or your property management company, must:

  1. Exercise reasonable care in the selection of tenant/s by at least obtaining satisfactory written or verbal references, and
  2. Complete an internal and external inspection of your rental property at a minimum of six-monthly intervals and upon every change of tenant/s, or in compliance with the terms of the house policy (please refer to your house Policy currently in place) if less than six-monthly, and
  3. Keep a written record of the outcome of each inspection, and provide us with a copy of the record if we request it. You are required to keep these records and provide them to us when you make a claim.