Insuring Contents

Buying contents cover is recommended as your tenants' deposits may not be sufficient to pay for any damage that occurs. For an unfurnished property there is no need to take out a full contents insurance policy - just get cover for damage to items such as floor coverings, curtains and any electrical appliances you have supplied, which could range from £5,000 to £15,000-worth of cover. Your tenants should take out their own insurance for their belongings.

For a furnished property, you should take out full contents insurance, which may need to provide more than double the amount of cover you would need for an unfurnished property. "You are only insuring your own contents, however - the tenants must still insure their own possessions," says Malcolm Harrison.

If you use a standard home insurance policy to cover a let property, the excess is likely to be higher - often not the case for buildings cover - or you may not be insured at all so verify this at the outset. The 30-day limit is also likely to apply to periods when the property is empty and you may not be given the option of paying a higher premium to be covered for accidental damage as you would as an owner-occupier.

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