Negligent tenants play a big role in losses to others

Services for Real Estate Pros with Allstate Insurance

It happened to me again... The first time it was very personal... The second time, well it was more business.

In 2004, my tenant burned my home... Yes, they left a candle burning on the 12 year old's dresser and then she went out to play.  45,000.00 dollars later, I was stuck with a major claim personally.

Last week, a home I insure for an investor, it too burned.  It was a major loss.   What was remaining of the home was placed in a "dumpster" and hauled away.  Cause: A tenant put a charcoal grill near the house after a evening dinner.  17 hours later, the wind blew a coal out and the home was destroyed. 

Negligent tenants play a major role in losses to others.  In both of the cases above, the tenant was not insured.  The home that burned last week had neighbors that just moved in after closing 24 hours earlier.  Little did the nieghbors know that they too would have a claim and would be responsible for the damages personally.  Pretty tough information to tell a new owner after spending ton of cash to buy, and then having a 1000.00 insurance deductible for a claim a neighbor caused.  Or the other neighbor, single retired lady on a fixed income.

A couple of thoughts: 

  1. Damage to your home by others may result in you being stuck with the bill.  If you home is built close, consider a lower deductible if 500.00 or 1,000 dollars is not easily afforded.
  2. When you see that sign up next door that says "Home for Rent", consider imploring the landlord to mandate a renter's policy.  If not, nag that new neighbor or sign them up for web referrals to buy that renters policy... (over kill- but you understand)
  3. Renting a home for your investor, network with agents in your area to provide rental applications and mandate the tenant to have a policy.  You as the leasing agent may not put the mandate in writing and it may not be an enforceable part of the contract, but be firm in stating the requirement of a policy.

Living next to, working with, renting to insured individuals helps insure that when a negligent loss occurs, you or your neighbor is not stuck with the bill.

Matt Locke


Comments (3)

Roberta Murphy
San Diego Previews Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes
Matt: Good advice for all real estate professionals and investors!
Jun 09, 2007 04:54 PM
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
Scary stuff.
Jun 09, 2007 05:42 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager
Yeah... and then they have the audacity to sue for the loss of their belongs!
Jun 10, 2007 02:01 PM