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Is Landlord Insurance Valid In The Event Of Malicious Damage?

If you have an investment property, then you probably already know about landlord insurance. But do you know exactly what it covers?

We know that not all tenants are as respectful of your property as you would hope and expect. When damage occurs to your property, whether it’s accidental or malicious, you will often be the one left with the legal liability and bill. 
To ensure that your losses are minimal, you must protect yourself with comprehensive insurance.

What Is Landlord Insurance?

Landlord insurance covers your rental property and its contents against a range of risks, including weather events, fires, and tenant-caused damage. 

Damage to your property can lead to months worth of repairs or refits that leave your property empty. We understand that for landlords, this loss of rent, paired with the cost of the work, can have a major impact on your financial status. 

Having Steadfast Direct landlord insurance will ensure you will not be left with endless bills and no profits due to property damage.

Is Malicious Damage Covered?

Property with significant damage.

In the case that you’ve walked into your property for an inspection or following the end of a lease, you hope to find it in a similar condition to when you first leased it. 

But what happens when it’s not?

What happens when you walk in to see holes in the walls, or shattered windows? 

If you don’t have insurance then the first thing is likely to stress out and frantically try to call builders and rearrange your budget. Whereas, if you do have landlord insurance then you can skip all the stress and calmly contact your insurance provider. 

Unless the tenant is still living in your property, and likely even if they are, it’s going to be difficult to know for sure whether the damage was caused with malicious intent. 

That is unless you take them to the RTA or court. However, this can also be a lengthy process that can leave you without a rental income while the case is being processed. 

Each policy is unique, some will only cover accidental damage, while others will cover all damage. For example, our Steadfast Direct landlord insurance will cover the damages caused by your tenants and their guests – malicious or not – and the associated financial losses. 

However, like all good things, there are a few exclusions. Most policies will not cover damage caused by general wear and tear, or neglect. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to find out exactly what kinds of damage your policy covers.

Malicious Damage Process

Living room all messed up with a broken TV.

If you or your property manager notice signs of malicious damage during an inspection there are a few steps you can take. 

The first and most important step is to take photographic evidence. You will then be able to use this if legal action is required. 

The second step is to issue your tenant with a breach notice, and give them a chance to repair the damage within a set period of time. If the tenant fails to make the repairs then you can lodge a police report.

In Australia, malicious damage charges can carry large fines or even involve imprisonment if the damages are excessive. Thus, you should never face these damages lightly.

To avoid facing more damages in the future you can screen your tenants to find renters that are more likely to respect and care for the property. You can also carry out more regular inspections, to keep better track of the state of your property.

The final thing you can do is to ensure your insurance policy is comprehensive and will cover you in the case of any future tenant damages.

Protect Your Investment

If you are a landlord and do not have landlord insurance, we can help. Our team of insurance experts can provide any guidance and set you up with a comprehensive policy.

You can visit our website or contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help protect your investment property.


RentWest – https://www.rentwest.com.au/advice-for-property-owners/dealing-with-malicious-damage/