Many people don’t realise that taking in a lodger will affect their insurance, or that it is something that they ought to tell their insurers about in advance. If you do not do this, you may invalidate your insurance cover.
Also, if there is a theft at your property where there is no forced entry, particularly if it is pretty clear that it is the lodger who is the thief, your insurers will generally be entitled to refuse to pay. This is both where it is the lodger who turns out to be the thief and also if it turns out to be the lodger who left the door or windows open. so the burglar could get in.
Asking about unspent convictions
Many insurance companies will also expect you to ask potential lodgers whether they have any unspent convictions. An embarrassing question which many landlords will baulk at.
Probably the best thing to do is to have this in an information form (discussed further on day 11), and ask them to fill it in, and sign and date it. If they raise objections to the unspent convictions question, just say it is something your insurers have asked for.
Make sure you keep this form, in case you ever have to make an insurance claim. If it turns out later that the lodger *did* have a criminal record, and you need to make a claim, it should be all right, provided you can show that you asked them about it. If you don’t ask the question, though, (and have the form to prove it), your insurers may use this as an excuse not to pay.
If your insurance company turns out to be really difficult about allowing you to take in lodgers, don’t worry. You should be able to find another insurance firm who can help – for example, see below.
Lodgers with criminal records
If you know that your prospective lodger has a criminal record, but you trust him and want to let the room to him anyway (after all ex-cons must live somewhere, and they are not all bad) the charity Unlock (the National Association of Reformed Offenders) may be able to help you find a company prepared to offer cover.
A letter to insurers regarding insurance cover is one of the letters included in my >> New Lodger pack.
A suitable insurance product would be this one from Alan Boswell. It can cover you for up to six lodgers and has appropriate contents cover. There is a £50 standard excess which is very low as most now start at £100. A discount of up to 30% is available if you contact Alan Boswell via >> this link. Make sure you tell them that you take in lodgers and say you learned about their insurance from the Lodger Landlord website.