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Despite the risks that go along with renting out an income property to university, college or other students, off-campus, privately-owned student rentals are still a popular investment. That’s because with proper risk management such as regular maintenance and monitoring, professionally-written lease agreements, diligent background checking and, of course, the right coverage, the rewards can be greater than the risk. As both a source of income-generation and a property asset, your investment needs to be protected and you need personal protection from legal liability.
Student Housing Insurance, What’s Covered?
Student housing insurance will consist of a few key coverages to achieve those protections. A portion of it consists of Commercial General Liability Insurance. That’s because if someone is injured on your student housing property, whether they’re one of your tenants or not, you could be legally liable. The CGL portion of your student rental insurance is designed to protect you from potential legal fees, out-of-court settlements and awards for damages in case someone slips and falls on ice on your property, for example, and decides to sue.
Another protection offered by student property rental insurance is for property damage that can occur to neighbouring properties because of an incident that takes place at your student housing property. As the owner of a student housing property, you could be legally liable if, for example, a fire that starts on your property by something catching fire on the stove or space heater and spreads to other houses or units in the area. With the right coverage, the costs to repair those damages could be covered.
Building and contents insurance (Commercial property insurance) is another crucial coverage to protect your investment property and rental income which is why it’s part of a student rental insurance package. This coverage can protect your property from sewage backups, flooding or water damage, windstorm damage and other perils. And rental income protection can protect you from losses in case your tenants have to vacate your student housing property after a named peril in order to repair the unit.
Other coverage highlights include:
- Tenant damage coverage
- No restrictions due to the age of the building
- Replacement cost
- Broad form coverage (goes beyond the basics to protect against rare events)
- On-premises pollution coverage
For more information and expert advice, you can check these articles:
- Student Rental Insurance 101
- Landlord Insurance Ontario and Why You Need It
- How Much Is Insurance For A House I Rent Out In Canada?
- Rental Property Insurance Explained
- Kitchener Vacant Property Insurance
- Commercial Real Estate Insurance
- Income Property Insurance Coverage Explained
- Get Builders Risk Insurance Ontario
Steps You Can Take to Reduce the Risks to You and Your Student Housing Property
Student housing insurance is a necessary part of the risk-management strategy you need to protect both you and your property. There are other measures you can take reduce your financial and liability risks. The first one is to set up a formal application process that includes credit and reference checks. Students don’t generally have long credit histories so requesting references or proof of income from each student may help ensure that every student in your housing rental pays his/her portion of the rent.
It might be a good idea to use a real estate agent and/or specialized property managers to find and screen tenants and draw up lease agreements that cover rules about property damage, clearing ice and snow from walkways and driveways in winter, guests and parties, failing to pay rent, not allowing the use of hot plates or grills, etc.
Inspecting your property’s exterior on a monthly basis and the interior at least twice during the school year can help nip any potential sources of damage, wear and tear, occupancy violations and infestation and mold issues in the bud before they escalate into major, expensive, problems.
Depending on the profit margin of your rental, hiring a property manager may allow you to continue making money with less hassle. A property manager can conduct your tenant screening, monitor your property and, depending on the level of service, perform maintenance on your student housing property.
It might also be worth investing in professional cleaning and quality improvements to student rental properties during summer break or other times your property is vacant. Doing so may allow you to charge more in rent and increase parent confidence in you as a landlord and your property as a clean and safe place for their children. As students have limited budgets, impressing their parents is a key component of your business.
Trust the Commercial Insurance Specialists at ALIGNED to Get You Comprehensive Student Housing Insurance Coverage at Affordable Rates
So why go with a brokerage for student housing insurance? We can save you time, money and headaches because of our years of experience specializing in commercial insurance. We have the expertise and resources to get our clients exactly the right coverage at affordable rates. Contact an ALIGNED advocate to get a quote in minutes or get started now by using our online tool.
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