We have been in contact with the Insurance Council who are in the process of consulting with their insurance company members to see how they view the Court of Apeal ruling.
We believe that we need regulation to return the situation to how it was previously. The Insurance Council are likely to come to this conclusion as well. If they do, we will likely work together to lobby Government for an urgent change in the regulations to ensure tenants can be held responsible for the damage they cause.
We are also looking at an alternative solution, which is landlords taking out an insurance policy on behalf of their tenants, which covers the landlord for costs they may incur through a tenant causing accidental damage.
Insurers we have spoken to say that they would need to know who the tenant was so that they could correctly ascertain their risk and charge an appropriate premium. ((An 18 year old male students premium is likely to be higher than a middle aged womans).
We believe that such insurance would be directly attributable to the tenancy, therefore it would be the tenants responsibility to pay for it over and above their rent.
This is not a prefered option as the tenant still has a reduced duty of care to the property. It is also more complicated and likely to have higher premiums.
At this stage we are still gathering data, but we will be providing information to members as soon as we have a clearer picture of the situation.
Insurance companies have said that nothing is likely to change from their point of view in the short term, however landlords are still exposed for the cost of the excess in any claim they make due to their tenants actions. This is clearly wrong and means that a solution has to be established as soon as possible.