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The Arc Legal team regularly provides media comment on relevant issues. Below are extracts from an article published in the insurance trade publication, Insurance Times on 22 November 2007 exploring the role brokers can play in supporting landlords.
Property insurance has received a boost from the buy-to-let sector where brokers can help landlords benefit from their investments.
Some pundits may be predicting a property slump, but the message from the insurance sector is clear: bricks and mortar remains a sound investment and we want to be in this market.
The importance of legal cover
Legal expenses can make a lot of sense for landlords. Typically, cover will not be included in a packaged landlords’ policy and so it needs to be purchased from a specialist legal expenses insurer.
Richard Finan, director of Arc Legal Assistance, comments: “There is no such thing as the perfect tenant. We’ve had a case recently of an extremely wealthy individual refusing to pay rent for several months because this was in dispute over a swimming pool filter he was eventually evicted.”
Arc is a specialist in this area, and investors make up around 25\% of its business. “This has never been a better time for brokers to do more in this market. We offer a range of support services from having fixed-fee solicitors, which specialise in areas like evictions, to having forms such as tenancy agreements that can be downloaded – brokers can quickly familiarise themselves with this sector.”
He explains that cover has traditionally been sold through letting agents but they are now doing less business because they want to avoid FSA regulation. “Brokers could now take this on or arrange for the letting agents to be appointed representatives.” Arc is also planning to increase its business in the commercial property market in 2008.
Apart from legal expenses, landlords can also buy rent guarantee insurance. While some say this is costly, Finan says it depends on the circumstances. “If the landlord has a good spread of properties, they can absorb a tenant not paying for a few months, but if they are heavily exposed, then it’s a good buy.”
A full copy of the article can be found at www.insurancetimes.co.uk