To insure or not...
One area that can easily be overlooked when taking a tenancy, is the question of insurance. Professional landlords have insurance for fire, damage and loss of rent, but this will not help a tenant who suffers loss, theft or damage to possessions. A professionally drafted tenancy should clarify the insurance position. Does cover extend to tenants or not? If so, which items are insured and what is the level of cover? If your possessions are not covered, should you insure? The next question is value. Do you own items of sentimental importance? What about photos and data on computers?
Go online and you will see a bewildering number of insurance companies competing for business. Reduce the options by working out precisely what kind of cover you want and remember that every policy has an ‘excess’. An excess of £1,000 means that the first £1,000 of the claim will be paid for by you. The higher the excess, the lower the premium you pay.
Next assess the risk.
There are many designs of door locks available in today’s market. For example the Banhams L2000 is designed to stop unauthorised copying of keys. Door locks to your flat or room should be ‘insurance rated.’ Although insurance rated locks are usually strong enough to withstand attempts to break in, the wooden frame around the lock will eventually break if enough force is applied. A steel ‘London bar’ costing £200 - £300 to install, will strengthen the frame, but this may only delay a determined burglar rather than stop him completely. Room safes, similar to those in hotel rooms, are now widely available. Expect to pay around £100 for a basic model.
Finally, remember that banks such as Metro Bank rent out ‘safe boxes’ for their clients. For irreplaceable items, a special watch from a relative for example, this is in option that you may wish to consider.
Banhams 0207 622 5151
Metro Bank 0203 402 7540