AXA: Landlords must protect themselves

As many as 38% of landlords fail to check on prospective tenants at all, while just 5% carry out a criminal record check.

Few landlords ensure their tenant can pay the rent, as 31% carry a credit check, 27% ask for employer references, while 29% ask for a reference from previous landlords. And third of landlords never visit their property during the rental period.

Darrell Sansom, managing director at AXA Business Insurance, said: “During the recession, we saw a significant increase in the number of accidental landlords – people who never expected to rent out their property, but couldn’t sell a former home or needed the additional income. With a booming rental market, they aren’t going anywhere.

“When you first start renting out property, you may not realise all the legal implications and duties involved. Last year, for instance, we found that a third of these landlords are, often inadvertently, breaking laws on safety checks, and a quarter have the wrong or no insurance.

“While legislation toughens, we need to make sure that enough is being done to inform and educate landlords too. Certainly, our experience is that many new landlords aren’t wilfully failing in their duties, they simply aren’t aware of all their obligations and commitments.”