Landlord sued for millions after stair fall

A landlord insurer is facing a multi-million pound pay out after someone visiting a tenant in a rented property fell down a flight of stairs.

The tenant claims the steps were not ‘fit for purpose’ and has claimed against the landlord’s public liability insurance.

The high claim is due to the tenant’s age and injuries that could add up in to Total Landlord Insurance paying out millions in care costs and loss of earnings.

The insurer says that in just two years, public liability pay outs for rented homes have topped £1.7 million.

The claims are for slips, falls and other accidents at buy to let homes and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

“If the landlord is found responsible and although the accident was often unavoidable, without insurance protection such incidents can prove extremely costly,” said a spokesman for the insurer.

Public liability insurance for landlords covers any pay out for a claim plus legal costs if the case is lost.

The cover is generally bundled in to standard landlord insurance policies.

Now, insurers are warning claims can make landlords bankrupt and they can even lose their own homes if they do not run their property business as a company if they should lose a claim in court.

Eddie Hooker, CEO of Total Landlord Insurance, said: “This is a particularly extreme case, but without insurance, this landlord would have been responsible for all costs associated with this incident. Not only could he have risked losing his buy to let investment, but his own home too in order to cover the costs in defending his case.

“Many landlords have very little idea of the level of their property insurance but this should serve as an eye-opener for anyone who has inadvertently cut corners when is comes to both property maintenance and insurance.”

The case continues.

Tags: