September 04, 2012 01:00 ET

Swinton Commercial Offers Advice to Landlords Expecting New Student Tenants

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 4, 2012) - As the beginning of the academic year approaches, Swinton Commercial is offering advice to landlords looking to secure their properties ready for an influx of student tenants.

For many property owners the prospect of renting to students can be quite daunting, as they are often regarded as high-risk tenants, with the high turnover of occupants and the possibility of damaged furnishings proving too costly a risk for some.

With this in mind, Swinton Commercial is offering the following tips to landlords, to make sure they are covered for new student tenants:

Ensure you have the correct cover. Landlord insurance can include useful extras such as landlords legal protection cover and home emergency protection to cover you for all eventualities.

Keep an inventory. Keep a comprehensive inventory when letting out fully furnished premises. Catalogue fixtures and fittings, and make a note of their condition. A photographic record can be used as evidence when making an insurance claim for damaged or missing property, or if any disputes arise between the landlord and tenants.

Be aware of legal requirements. Legal changes which came into force in 2006 mean that a property of three or more stories, occupied by five or more persons who form more than one household, is classed as a House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO). Failure to obtain an HMO licence for the property could mean a fine of up to £20,000.

Joint tenancy. Where possible, include a joint and several liability clause in the tenancy agreement. This prevents the landlord from being out of pocket should one of the tenants leave unexpectedly. This also requires a parent or guardian to act as a guarantor, and provides added security should rent go unpaid.

Make tenant obligations clear. Include a clause in the tenancy agreement to ensure all tenants check that doors and windows are locked and that electrical devices are switched off during Christmas or summer holidays.

Brian Greenfield, Chartered Insurance Broker at Swinton Commercial, said: "While letting to students is a highly lucrative prospect for many landlords, it can also leave property owners concerned about the long-term financial implications of damaged furnishings and unpaid rent.

"Having the correct landlord insurance in place can provide cover for unforeseen legal or financial difficulties, and prevent the landlord from being out of pocket in the long-term."

Notes to Editors:

About Swinton Commercial:

As one of the UK's leading commercial insurance brokers, Swinton Commercial has the expertise and industry knowledge to provide you with highly competitive business insurance that's tailored to your needs.

With 34 branches across the UK, including 19 regional centres, Swinton Commercial has quickly established itself as the UK's local broker, offering a dedicated team of advisors with specialist industry knowledge in many sectors.

Your local Commercial Account Executive has an in-depth understanding of the insurance market in your area and will arrange a face-to-face appointment with you, taking the time to thoroughly understand your business and its specific requirements.

We cater for most types of business - from small start-ups to well-established organisations, comparing quotes from leading UK insurers to find you the right level of insurance, at the right price.

What's more, our award-winning offering has over 80,000 business customers - and we're growing fast.

Visit www.swintoncommercial.co.uk for more information or call 0800 954 3802.

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