Don't slip up on risk responsibility
Ian Gregory, of MPW Insurance Brokers, Maidstone,
offers some valuable tips for property landlords.
If you rent your property, the lease may specify that parts
remain in your control and do not form part of your tenant's
This is particularly likely if you have several tenants in your
building sharing facilities such as stairways, halls, landing and
external areas comprising car parks, drives and paths.
If this is the case, you will then have a potential
responsibility should persons be injured or property damaged due to
a defect in these areas and will not be able to pass these on to
In the event of a claim being made against you, defence may not
be possible unless you can demonstrate you have assessed the
potential risks and then put in place a reasonable system of check,
whereby you monitor the premises for defects such as a loose stair
carpet or defective paths and then respond to remedy them within a
During winter conditions, you need to consider how you will
discharge your obligation of clearance of snow and ice in external
common parts areas that remain your responsibility. You may perhaps
enter into an agreement with one of your tenants or appoint a
contractor to take on the risk.
There is a popular misconception that snow should be left
uncleared on the basis that a poor attempt at clearance could
increase your liability. However, it is clear is that you do need
to positively respond to adverse conditions.
Insurance protection for potential claims is available and
should be selected by all property owners and occupiers as a matter
of course as part of your portfolio's insurance coverage.
MPW has more than 25 years' experience and knowledge of the
management of property insurance portfolios.
We can advise on appropriate levels of cover and also assist in
assessing the risk and devising suitable check lists and other
documentation to streamline the management of potential
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