The Importance of Building Insurance for Landlords

As a landlord, you may not already have building insurance. You might have also heard that it’s important to have, and it is. But you might not be sure if it’s for you, or how you go about obtaining building insurance. This article will help to explain what building insurance is, why you as a landlord need to invest in it for all of your buy to let properties and how to do so. This will make you and your tenants more secure, as well as increasing the confidence of buyers in your properties.

What is building insurance?

Building insurance is a specific type of home insurance, the other type being contents insurance. Whereas contents insurance is insurance for the things that you keep in your home such as the furniture, the television, your possessions, carpets and curtains, building insurance covers the permanent fixtures and fittings in the home such as the kitchens and bathrooms. The definition of what is a permanent fixture can sometimes be ambiguous. For example, in Germany when people move house they often take their ovens with them, rather than leaving them in the house as do most people in the UK. But in general, fixtures and fittings are those things that you would leave behind if you were moving house. There is no law which specifies what constitutes permanent fixture, so when getting building insurance you need to specify what you take the fixtures and fittings of your property to be.Building Insurance for Landlords

Building insurance is a policy covering damage to the structure, the fixtures and the fittings of the property. If the building so defined is damaged, the insurance policy will cover the cost of repair depending on the nature of the damage. Commonly policies cover for damage by natural events such as floods or hurricanes, fire or smoke, vandalism or leaking pipes among other things. The policy will also exclude certain kinds of damage, such as damage by insects, birds or pests. Also, you normally can’t claim for damage that happened while the property was uninhabited for 30 days.

Why is building insurance important?

For rented properties, it is the responsibility of the landlord. It is not the responsibility of landlords to take out contents insurance on the tenant’s property, because it’s the tenant’s property, but since the rented property is ultimately the landlord’s they have to take out the building insurance. This is true whether the property is a house with multiple storeys or a small flat.

The main advantage of building insurance is that it pays off over the long term. On average, building insurance costs £181 a year, according to the AA Premium Index. Over the years, it’s very likely that some fixture, such as the boiler, will break down. This could cost you in excess of £500 for the boiler alone. If you aren’t able to pay for the repairs immediately because you don’t have building insurance, the leaking boiler could cause water damage to the floors and walls of the house. Adding to this the fact that the home won’t be properly heated could result in the spread of damp, which could make the house unliveable. Having insurance can ensure that these problems are solved before they get out of hand, or even before they arise.

Even if these problems don’t manifest, it is hardly worth the risk to put tenants, possibly families, in homes that aren’t insured. More people are finding themselves in privately rented accommodation due to the housing crisis in the UK. These people sometimes end up in damaged or unsafe properties which are not covered for building insurance. When they complain to landlords about the poor conditions, they are sometimes threatened with eviction on no reasonable grounds, simply for making the complaint. These rogue landlords give others a bad name, but taking out building insurance can help tenants to have more confidence in you as a landlord. If you do not have building insurance and put tenants in unsafe accommodation, you can be charged with negligence if they are injured as a result. You can also adjust the rent on the property to take into account the cost of the insurance.

How do I get building insurance?

When getting building insurance, you need to ask several questions. How much cover do you need? Which items does the insurance cover? Over what length of time do you wish to pay the insurance?

You need to consider all these things when choosing an insurance package. You also need to compare insurers, which you can do using an insurance comparison site online such as

You will need to set out with your insurer which items you want to be covered under the insurance package, as well as how you want to pay, whether you want to pay on a monthly basis or in one lump sum. You should also be aware that some insurance packages have additional features for landlords, so look out for those. Insurers are adding more stipulations to their insurance packages in terms of what conditions are included or excluded in coverage, so be sure to read the fine print carefully. You will need to decide if you wish to pay for extras such as legal cover, or if you are confident enough to manage the process yourself. If you do, remember that it is still prudent to consult a legal professional when taking out insurance.

Make sure that you have enough coverage for the full property, otherwise if a part of the property not covered under the insurance is damaged, you might end up having to pay for the repairs in part or in full.

Now you know the basics of why and how to get building insurance. This will hopefully get you closer to your goal of covering your buy-to-let property of damages.

Boiler Installation And Replacement Quotes That You Will Love

Many of the problems that people face and experience with their boilers is actually down to poor installation work. This means if you are looking to have a boiler installed at your home, it makes sense to call on an expert who will provide you with the best standard of service. Installing a boiler correctly at the first time of asking can save so much time, hassle and money in the long run that it is worth taking the time to find the professional that will provide the best standard of service.
No matter what service you need carried out, it makes sense to obtain quotes from a number of professionals. You don’t necessarily need to opt for the cheapest option, but you should be looking to obtain value for money when you install a boiler. This is why you need to ask for boiler installation and replacement quotes, and at CenultraBoiler Installations And Replacement, we are here to help you find the best quote for your needs.
We have installed and replaced countless boilers in London and we are pleased to say that we offer value for money services. We have received a great number of positive reviews, recommendations and testimonials from clients with respect to our boiler installation and replacement work. When it comes to being confident about the installation and condition of your boiler, call on the experts who will care for you in the right possible manner.
Clearly you should always look to repair a boiler first of all before you contemplate replacing it. Calling on the right professional means that you have a great chance of repairing your boiler in an effective manner, and you could get plenty of years of additional service from the boiler. However, there will be times when your boiler cannot be repaired, and it has to be replaced. These are some of the things that you should look out for.

Repairing your boiler is no longer cost-efficient
Just because your boiler can be repaired, doesn’t mean that you should necessarily have it repaired. There are costs involved and associated with repair work and if it gets to the stage where it is more cost effective to have your boiler replaced, this is the option that you should go with. This can be costly but equally, the money you spend on continually trying to repair a boiler and the hassle that comes from the problems caused by it will mean that it is often best to opt for a new boiler.

If your boiler is unable to provide you with the heating that you need
Depending on the age of your property, it may be that your boiler is unable to provide you with the heating that you require or the features that you are looking for. If the timer no longer works or the controls are very difficult to use or there isn’t a thermostat, you’ll find that it is much easier to opt for a new boiler. In some cases, it may be possible to just replace the controls but there are many times when replacing the boiler is much more effective.
This is where you should be on the lookout for boiler installation and replacement quotes. In order to make the most effective decision for your needs, you need information. When it comes to pricing and what service you will receive, the information contained in boiler installation and replacement quotes will provide you with everything you need in order to make the decision that is best for you.
At Cenultra, we are keen to help you make the best decision for you, your home and your loved ones. We offer a fair and reasonable quote for all of our boiler work and we are more than happy to provide as many details as we possibly can. We look to provide you with everything you could need to know in order to make the best decision and if you ever have any questions about repairing or replacing your boiler, we are here to help you out. If you are looking for the best standard of boiler replacement work in London, get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help you out.
If your boiler doesn’t give you the control over your heating that you need – for example if the controls or timer aren’t very flexible, or there isn’t a thermostat – a new boiler might be a good option when it comes to helping to cut your heating bills. In some circumstance, you might be able to get away with just installing new controls.
No matter what you need, Cenultra are here to help and we believe we provide the most cost effective boiler installation and replacement quotes in London.

The “How to Rent” Guide: What Landlords Need to Know

On 1 October 2015, new rules came into force in England regarding Section 21 Notices. One of the changes is that, for any tenancies starting on or after the above date, the landlord must provide the tenant(s) with a copy of the government’s “How to Rent” Guide. Here we will explain what landlords need to know about this new obligation.

What is the “How to Rent” Guide?
You can download a copy of the “How to Rent” Guide from the website. It is essentially a checklist for prospective tenants which guides them through the process of finding and securing a rental property, advises on what they need to know from their landlord and what the responsibilities of both parties are, discusses what happens at the end of a tenancy and offers guidance on what to do if problems arise. How to rent guide
Some of the information in the guide are defunct by the time you issue your tenants with their copy on the first day of their tenancy – for instance the checklists about what to do before looking for rental properties and what to ask about before agreeing a rental. However, there is still a lot of useful information in there about their rights and responsibilities during their tenancy, and what to do when the tenancy period ends, so it is worthwhile for them to have this document to inform themselves. Crucially, it advises them on what will happen if you choose to end the tenancy, which is why the new rule relates to Section 21 Notices.

What are my responsibilities as landlords/agents?
You are responsible for providing a copy of the most up-to-date “How to Rent” Guide on the first day of a new tenancy, effective from 1 October 2015. This can be in the form of a hard copy (printed at your cost from the website) or e-mailed to the tenants where they have provided e-mail addresses. The current guide states that it is best viewed online as it contains hyperlinks to further information and so an e-mailed copy would be ideal. It would be wise to gain some form of proof that you have issued the guide. If you have provided a hard copy, you could keep a second copy signed by the tenants on file, or ask them to sign a form stating they have received the guide. For guides supplied by e-mail a simple reply to acknowledge receipt would suffice.
You do not need to supply a new copy of the guide in the event of it being updated, as long as the tenancy is ongoing. For tenancy renewals, and in the event of one tenancy coming to an end and a new tenancy beginning, you would need to obtain and issue the most up to date version.
It is important to note that if you do not provide your tenants with a copy of the “How to Rent” Guide, you will not be able to serve a Section 21 Notice to regain possession of your property. This can have serious consequences, and so compliance with this minor task could save you a lot of hassle in future.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements Explained

Most tenancies in the UK come under the category of Assured Shorthold Tenancy. A Tenancy Agreement is essential for the protection of both landlord and tenant, and while it can be in the form of an oral contract, a written document provides more security for all parties in the case of a dispute. This article will explain what landlords need to know about Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements.

What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)?
The majority of new tenancies are automatically classed as Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs). If you are a private landlord or housing association and not resident in the property, the tenancy started after 27 February 1997, and the property is the tenant’s main residence, then the tenancy type is almost definitely an AST. There are some exclusions from this, for instance if the yearly rent is less than £250 (£1000 in London) or more than £100,000, but in all likelihood, if you’re a private landlord then your tenants will be renting under an AST.
Tenancies that began between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997 can either be ASTs or Assured Tenancies. Any tenancy which started before 15 January 1989 cannot be an AST.Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements

What should an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement include?
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement should give details of the following:
The names of all parties involved, and the address of the property to be tenanted;
The amount of the deposit, how the deposit will be protected and under what circumstances the deposit can be partly or fully withheld (usually in the instance of repairs needed due to damage by the tenant);
The rental price, how and when it is to be paid and, if applicable, how and when the rent can be reviewed;
The start and end date of the tenancy, and, if applicable, how the tenancy can be ended early;
Any tenant or landlord obligations, including who is responsible for minor repairs where the landlord is not legally responsible, and
Which bills tenants are responsible for.

What do I need for Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) starting on or after 1st October 2015?

Importantly, remember that for Assured Shorthold Tenancy that begin on or after 1st October 2015, you must provide the following documents to tenants at the start of each fixed term tenancy:

i) Gas safety certificate / report

ii) Energy performance certificate (EPC)

iii) The government’s document called ‘How to rent: The checklist for renting in England’ – you can download a copy from the link below.

Read our articles In relation to serving section 21 notices and carbon monoxide and smoke alarm regulations.

Can I change a Tenancy Agreement?
If you wish to make changes to your agreement before the tenancy expires, you must gain the agreement of the tenants. You must also ensure that your agreement does not discriminate against tenants on the basis of age, gender (including if the tenant is transgender), sexual orientation, disability, religion, race, or if your tenant becomes pregnant or has a baby.
If you wish to end the tenancy before the agreed end date then you must have a valid reason under the Housing Act 1988, for instance if the tenants are in arrears or you wish to move back into the property.

How can I get an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement written up?
You can create the agreement yourself, and there are several templates available online to do so. The government has provided a model Tenancy Agreement on the website, or you can find alternative templates on a number of legal and landlord associations’ websites.
For more information on Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements, you can visit this useful guide for landlords on the website.

An Electrical Certificate Is Essential For Landlords

Electrical Certificate Is Essential For Landlords

Electricity is a wonderful thing that has illuminated our lives and changed the way that we live but it can also be a very dangerous thing. This is why there is a need for landlords to ensure that their properties are regularly checked with respect to electrical connections, wiring and appliances. At Cenultra, we have fully experienced and registered electricians and we can provide a wide range of electrical services for landlords, homeowners, industrial clients and commercial clients looking to ensure that their property is well looked after.

When it comes to electrical safety, there are a number of requirements that landlords should legally meet. It is vital that all electrical installations, such as light fittings and sockets are of a safe standard when tenants move in. The best way to prove that they are safe when a tenant moves in is to have them tested just prior to a tenant moving in. At Cenultra, we are more than happy to carry out this form of testing, which provides you and the tenant with peace of mind and confidence about the quality of the property.

Check on your electrical appliances during a tenancy
There is also a need to ensure that all electrical installations are maintained in a safe and working condition during the tenancy duration. Again, depending on the duration of the tenancy, this may be something that needs to be undertaken at various times, but no matter the length of tenancy, this is something that it pays to be proactive with. If anything was to go wrong with electrical installations and it was found that they hadn’t been tested on a regular basis, there could be a case for a claim made against the landlord.
Even if it doesn’t come to that situation, the psychological impact that can come from knowing a serious accident or incident occurred in your property can live with people for many years. Rather than spending a lifetime wondering if things would have been different if the tests had been carried out, landlords and tenants can take confidence from knowing that the electrical installations have been tested on a regular basis. There is also the fact that landlords should be looking to protect their investment and with an electrical safety certificate, you can take confidence in the fact that your asset is in good shape.

We deliver peace of mind for electrical appliances
When it comes to the appliances that are used in a property, there is a need to ensure that they are safe. This may be an area of contention between the landlord and tenant, but it is probably safe to say that any appliances supplied by the landlord should have a test arranged by the landlord and any appliances brought in by the tenant should also meet the safety requirement. Over time, it is often best to carry out checks at the same time, and perhaps this could be a cost that is split between the landlord and tenant. This will help both parties to save money and at Cenultra, we are happy to arrange electrical appliance testing at a time that is suitable for all parties. No matter who is responsible for bringing the electrical appliances into a property, all of the appliances should have the CE marking on them, as a minimum with respect to their safety.
When it comes to obtaining the all-important landlord electrical safety certificate, there is a legal requirement to ensure that a comprehensive electrical inspection is carried out every three to five years. The actual length of time for an individual property will depend on the recommendation outlined in the previous inspection. This is why it is important to maintain paperwork and look back on previous results from time to time to ensure that you remain up to date with the legal requirements.
While many landlords will complain at the thought of having to hire a professional, there is a great deal to be said for the comfort, confidence and peace of mind that comes from knowing your property is in good condition. There are other tests that can also be carried out by registered electrical engineers, such as  EPC , Commercial Electrical Certificate or PAT, and at Cenultra, we are more than happy to provide these tests and services.

Landlord’s responsibilities:

When it comes to caring for your property and ensuring that the people or tenants within the property are well looked after, there is a need to ensure that electrical appliances are tested on a regular basis. If you want to care for your property in the most effective manner, call on Cenultra.