The recent case of a rented dwelling being fire damaged by a tenant serving home detention has brought to light serous issues for property owners.
As things stand there is no legal responsibility for tenants to disclose to their landlord that there is anyone living at the address that is serving home detention. This may cause complications for property owners if the property is damaged and they try and claim on their insurance cover.
Initio Insurance, who operate a dedicated online rental property underwriting agency, is concerned that this non-disclosure could mean landlords fall short of their insurance obligations to notify their insurers of all material facts. Material non-disclosure is one of the leading reasons why insurance claims are declined.
Rene Swindley, Managing Director of Initio, states that “property owners make a significant
investment in their properties. It is for this reason that landlords need to apply greater vigilance to discover who is actually tenanting their property”. As a landlord it is important to notify the insurer of any information that may affect the insurance. “We suggest that landlords incorporate this notification process into their regular property inspection and review program”.