Owning investment real estate can be a great way for anyone to earn cash flow and build long-term personal wealth. While real estate can be a great and passive source of income, there is some work and risk that is involved with it. One of the risks that all landlords take on is the risk that their tenants or guests of the tenants will be injured while they are in the landlord’s property.
When it comes to tenant injuries, many people are confused about what the liability of the landlord is. While this can be a murky area that is hard to understand, a landlord can be found to be at fault and liable in these situations. While there is a chance that a landlord can be found to be at fault, there are many things that they can do to protect themselves and make sure they are properly covered.
Provide Safe Living Environment
The most important thing that a landlord can do to protect themselves is to provide a safe place to live. A landlord has the inherent responsibility to provide its tenants with a safe place to live. A landlord can ensure that the place is in good condition and safe by having it inspected before signing any lease and making sure that they are in compliance with all rules and regulations set forth by the local community.
A landlord also needs to make sure that they follow the proper steps when it comes to following up on service requests by the tenants. Landlords should also keep records of all inspections, services, and other information necessary to prove that they were able to provide a safe living environment.
Landlord Insurance Coverage
Another way that a landlord can protect themselves is by having adequate insurance in place. All property owners, especially those that own an investment property, need to have a full liability insurance policy in place. The liability insurance policy will provide a certain level of coverage in the event someone is injured while they are on the landlord’s premises. A landlord that has more than one asset should also consider buying an umbrella insurance policy. This will provide additional coverage on top of the base liability coverage.
Tenant Insurance Coverage
Beyond having their own policy in place, a landlord should also make sure that the tenant carries a renter’s insurance policy. In the event that a tenant’s guest is injured, it could fall under the coverage provided by the renter’s insurance policy. This could then provide coverage to both the owner of the property as well as the tenant.
Finally, all landlords need to have adequate legal support. While you will not need to have a lawyer until an accident occurs, it would be a good idea to have one available to you. This will make sure that your rights are properly represented in court. This will also allow you to negotiate a lower settlement and avoid much of the time and stress that goes into a standard court case.
March 14, 2018