Can landlords legally require renters insurance?
Post on 16-Jul-2015
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Can Landlords Legally Require Renters Insurance
Can Landlords Legally Require Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance is definitely a necessary tenant product for several reasons; however, can your landlord legally require you to carry it? It is an elective option that is helpful to protect against lawsuits should something happen to the inside of the property they rent and their belongings. Many believe it just helps with reimbursement for possessions and not liability damages due to a renter started fire or other issue that might arise.
State by State, Country by Country Legality VariesThe state or country you live in will determine if a landlord is allowed to require you to carry renters insurance. Massachusetts is an important example. According to Rich Vetstein and information published inDisclosures, Insurance, Landlord Tenant Law, Leasing, Massachusetts Real Estate Law, Rental Housing Safetylandlords can require renters insurance. Legally how the request is made in the lease agreement will determine the validity of the inclusion of renters insurance.
First, Massachusetts allows only certain fees to be stated in the lease agreement and payable to the landlord. The landlord cannot legally ask the renter to pay a renters insurance fee to them and offer a policy to the tenant. However, the landlord can request proof of renters insurance before signing a lease with a new tenant.
The tenant has the right to choose where they take out the insurance. The landlord cannot have an agreement with an insurance provider for kickbacks and state it is a legal arrangement. The landlord cannot request compensation from the tenant to pay renters insurance fees either.
Why you should have Renters InsuranceThere is a valid reason for you to have a renter's insurance policy whether your landlord can legally request it or not. This insurance covers your possessions and your liability. A landlord is legally required by state laws to have property insurance on the building, but this does not extend to your belongings or your liability.
Your renter's insurance policy will cover personal property, loss of use, personal liability and medical payments to others. If a friend visits your place and is injured they could sue for medical damages. Your insurance would cover this. It also covers against fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, and other issues like snow, falling objects and water damage. Depending on your policy it can cover other things too.
However, remember your landlord cannot make you pay for the insurance, pay them for supposed insurance, or legally require it. They can make it a condition of your lease that you carry your own policy. It is their right as a landlord to choose who they rent to.
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