For landlords, there are few more painful expenses to endure than a broken boiler.
Not only is replacing or repairing a boiler expensive, but it also needs to be done quickly, so your tenants aren’t without heating or hot water.
One thing that can help is landlord boiler cover…
Do landlords need boiler cover?
While boiler cover isn’t a legal requirement for you as a landlord, it’s something you should consider taking out for additional peace of mind.
Boiler breakdowns happen, but that doesn’t make them any less expensive or any less stressful for you and your tenants.
Having boiler cover in place should mean the costs of repairing or replacing a broken boiler in your rental property are covered.
It should also mean you can get a plumber to fix the problem quickly, as many boiler cover policies offer 24/7, 365-days-per-year plumber call-outs.
It’s worth remembering that boilers often break down in the winter when plumbers are inundated with other water-based home emergencies.
So, having someone available to fix your boiler through your cover during busy times could be worth its weight in gold to your tenants.
Does landlord insurance cover a new boiler?
Some landlord insurance policies offer boiler cover as an add-on, while others offer it as standard.
If you’re taking out a landlord insurance policy and you’d like boiler cover included, check the policy details to see if it’s offered by your insurer, either as part of their policy or as an optional extra.
What if my boiler is under warranty?
Many boilers come with a warranty or guarantee for a certain period after you purchase them.
Often, warranties are valid for two to five years, meaning you’ll get the same kind of protection provided by landlord boiler insurance for that period of time.
However, boiler warranties often come with extra terms and conditions, such as having an annual service by the company that manufactured the boiler to keep the warranty valid.
Boiler warranties also cover just the boiler – meaning no protection for the rest of your heating system unless you have a more comprehensive boiler insurance policy.
Types of boiler cover for landlords
Landlord boiler insurance policies are usually split into three options:
This type of insurance covers your boiler for repairs or replacement but doesn’t include pipework or radiators.
Boiler-only cover is usually the cheapest option.
2. Boiler and heating system
This cover protects your property’s full central heating system, including the boiler, any heat pumps if you have them, pipework, and radiators.
A full system policy will be more expensive than boiler-only cover but you’ll have the added peace of mind that you’re fully protected.
3. Emergency cover
Usually the most expensive kind of landlord boiler insurance, emergency cover protects your entire heating system but you’ll also be able to call out a plumber if your tenants experience an ‘out of hours’ emergency.
What is landlord boiler cover excess?
The excess on your landlord boiler insurance policy is the amount you will have to pay towards any repairs or replacement costs.
The higher the excess, the lower your overall policy cost is likely to be – but you’d have to pay more if something goes wrong.
Some landlord boiler cover policies include the excess amount in your monthly payments, and these are sometimes called ‘no excess’ policies.
Others may have a fixed call-out charge in an emergency.
Can I switch insurance providers for my boiler cover?
Landlord boiler cover generally lasts for 12 months.
After that period is up, you’re under no obligation to remain with that insurer and switching to another can often save you money.
Price comparison sites are usually the best way to find the cheapest premium.
But always make sure you do your research on exactly what is covered before taking out any boiler protection policy.
Landlord boiler breakdown cover: Things to consider
It’s important you know what you’re signing up for when you take out boiler cover for your rental property.
Things you’ll need to consider before taking out landlord boiler cover include:
1. The age of your boiler
Many policies won’t cover boilers that are more than seven years old, so always check the policy terms and conditions before committing.
2. Call-out caps
Some policies include a limit on the number of times you can use their emergency call-out service. Other policies may include a separate call-out charge if you require a plumber in the evening or on a weekend.
3. What is covered
Find out what is covered in your policy and look out for additional charges for certain replacement parts or labour.
4. The excess
This is the amount you’ll need to pay towards any boiler repairs or a replacement.
A higher excess usually means you’ll pay less for your cover, but in the event of an emergency, you’ll pay more towards fixing the problem.
5. The monthly premium
Policy costs vary hugely and the cheapest or most expensive might not always be the best policy for you.
Always check the finer details of any boiler protection cover to ensure what’s being offered is suitable for you and your tenants.
Can a landlord claim tax relief for a new boiler?
As a landlord, you can offset certain expenses against your income tax bill.
If your rental property boiler breaks down, you should be able to offset what you spend on repairing or replacing it as an ‘allowable expense’.
However, if you have insurance cover and this pays entirely for replacement or repair of your broken boiler, you wouldn’t be able to offset this against your tax bill.
Any additional costs you incur when repairing or replacing your boiler, that aren’t covered by your insurance policy, can be claimed as an expense – for instance, decoration work to restore the wall the boiler is attached to.
How long does a landlord have to replace a boiler?
Boiler repairs are certainly classed as an emergency when it comes to your tenants, so fixing or replacing a boiler quickly is key to your obligations as a landlord.
Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, tenants have the right to expect their landlord to carry out all repairs in a ‘reasonable time’.
But when it comes to emergency repairs, which boilers fall under, you are expected to fix or replace the boiler within 24 hours.
Using an experienced and trustworthy managing agent can help in situations like these, with Martin & Co’s Premium Managed or Managed service packages which could include arranging emergency call-outs or maintenance from our trusted list of tradespersons.
Landlord boiler service and gas safety certificate
Boiler insurance should cover you for repair or replacement of a broken boiler.
But many policies also include annual servicing of your rental property boiler and a gas safety certificate.
As a landlord, you’re obligated to undertake a gas safety inspection at your rental property every year.
The certificate should also be given to your tenants within 28 days of the check being completed.
Again, using a trusted managing agent like Martin & Co to look after your property can provide real peace of mind, with annual gas safety certificates included in our Managed and Premium Managed packages.