It’s the call every landlord dreads: the boiler has broken down and your tenants have no heating or hot water. As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to get the situation fixed ASAP, but boiler repairs are an unexpected expense many can’t afford. So how do you avoid getting into hot water over them?
Here, we explain what you need to do if something goes wrong and how landlord boiler insurance can help.
Your tenancy agreement will set out your specific responsibilities when it comes to fixing boiler issues, but there’s also a landlord boiler service law, which all landlords must adhere to.
According to the Health and Safety Executive website, it’s the landlord’s duty to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe. You’re also responsible for the maintenance and repair of any gas appliances provided for your tenants by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
In summary, as a landlord you must:
● Ensure a Gas Safe registered engineer installs and maintains gas equipment safely
● Arrange a gas safety check every year on all appliances and flues
● Provide your tenants with a copy of the gas safety check record before they move in, or within 28 days
When it comes to boiler breakdowns, as a landlord you’re responsible for repair and replacement under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. If you don’t uphold your responsibilities and deal with repairs within a reasonable time frame then, in extreme cases, the Environmental Health Department can enforce you to uphold your responsibilities, authorise repairs and serve you the bill.
Landlord boiler insurance covers you for boiler repairs or replacement at your rental property. There are several products on the market offering dedicated landlord boiler cover, but it’s important to know what to look for in a policy before you make a commitment. You’ll also want to check that your buildings or landlord insurance policy doesn’t already include boiler cover.
Like any insurance policy, the most important things to consider are the exclusions. For example, some policies may restrict cover based on the age and type of boiler, or exclude certain buildings.
Boiler repairs aren’t cheap; heating engineers charge between £30 and £100 an hour and emergency call-outs are expensive. If the boiler needs to be replaced, the bill can run into thousands of pounds, once you add on installation costs. That’s not the kind of expense you want to be unprepared for.
The best way to ensure you uphold your landlord boiler responsibilities and resolve any emergency boiler repairs swiftly is to take out landlord boiler cover. Knowing you’re protected means you can focus on getting a Gas Safe registered engineer out quickly and keep your tenants happy.
Find out more about your landlord responsibilities in Landlord Obligations: What You Need to Know.
If you take out our landlord buildings insurance, we’ll give you boiler breakdown cover as standard. It'll cover the cost of repairing and even replacing a broken boiler, so you won’t need to worry about unexpected bills.
As long as the boiler fault isn’t due to normal wear and tear, our insurance covers you for all of the costs involved in repairing or replacing the boiler (up to your buildings sum insured). That includes labour, call-out charges and the cost of parts, minus a £200 excess.
We'll cover boiler breakdowns caused by:
● Expansion vessel failure
● The heat exchanger cracking or rupturing
● Valves failing
● A circuit board fault
Good tenants can be hard to come by, so you’ll want to keep yours happy throughout the repair or replacement process. When you’re looking for landlord boiler insurance, choose an option that helps you do just that. For example, our policy covers:
● The cost of supplying tenants with portable heaters until the boiler has been fixed.
● The cost of providing your tenants with alternative accommodation until the boiler is replaced or working again, if we believe the property can't be lived in (during particularly cold winter months, for example).
If you do get that dreaded phone call and need to fix your tenants’ boiler quickly, you last thing you want is a time consuming or complicated claim process.
Making a claim and getting your boiler fixed with our cover is simple:
● Step 1: Call out a Gas Safe registered heating engineer
● Step 2: Send us their report detailing how and why the boiler has broken down, a quotation or invoice for the repair and a copy of your gas safety certificate
● Step 3: If approved, we’ll reimburse you for all costs (minus your £200 excess)
We can also deal with claims retrospectively, as long as you still have the engineer's report.
Want to get covered? Find out more about our landlord insurance here.