Some people buy properties and fix them up with the clear intention of becoming landlords. But others become landlords without ever intending to get into the real-estate business. Maybe they inherited a property. Or perhaps they want to move into a different home, but are having a hard time selling their current property, so they rent it out. They're "accidental landlords," people who are in charge of property almost by accident.
If you become an accidental landlord, the first thing to remember is that bad things can happen to your property-even if you're meticulous about keeping it in pristine shape. No matter how much work you do, you can't always plan for lightning, wind, or hail damage. You could also suffer water damage or a fire, and there's always the possibility of vandalism.
Bottom line: it's important to protect your investment from the unexpected, so you need different coverage than you typically get with the average homeowner's insurance policy. Make sure you're covered with Allstate's affordable Landlord Insurance Policy, which provides insurance to protect you from all sorts of calamities. It also provides Fair Rental Income reimbursement, which typically steps in to cover missed rental cashflow if your rental property becomes uninhabitable because of a covered loss.
Allstate's insurance for landlords covers a litany of peril, including smoke or hail, and much more. We also offer several landlord insurance add-ons such as burglary and vandalism coverage, protection for satellite dish systems, and more. And you could earn a discount if you pair this protection with another qualifying Allstate policy, or if you remain claim-free.
We've got great suggestions on making sure you get quality renters in our Finding Great Tenants article. Smart tips include making sure you advertise properly, such as including several photos and using social-network sites. We also give tips on how to avoid being duped by scam artists.
You'll also want to make sure your place is in tip-top condition. Get pointers on making your place immaculate with our article, Spring Cleaning Tips. We have suggestions on resealing grout, fixing window seals, cleaning gutters, and more.
If your long-term goal is to sell, remember that you have to work with your tenants regarding an acceptable time to show the property. You can't bother them at all hours of the day and night, so you'll need to spell out in the lease when showings are acceptable. And keep in mind that tenants may not keep your house as clean as you would for potential buyers.
But the most important part of being an accidental landlord is simply protecting your investment. Call us at 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828), or find an agent near you to see how an Allstate Landlord Insurance Policy can cover your structure and protect against liabilities.
Published: February 2012