Property Insurance Explained | When Is a Landlord Negligent?
As a general, the landlord is not responsible if you are burglarized, have a fire, have water pipes burst, or have a severe roof leak. The landlord is responsible if the problem occurs because of the landlord's negligence. The landlord is negligent if the fire starts in his or her boiler roof where newspapers were stored, but not if your next-door neighbor has a grease fire. The landlord is negligent if you have reported the lack of locks on your windows and that's how a burglar entered. If the burglar kicked in the locked front door, the land lord is not negligent. The first time the pipes burst or the roof leaks, the landlord is not negligent. If it is the second or third time for the leaks, and faulty repairs have been made in between leaks, then the land lord may be negligent.
The bottom line is that most losses are your problem, not the landlord's. Property insurance is cheaper than you think and can be a real life saver. Shop around and determine what plan best suits you. Or contact a lawyer in your area for assistance. Property insurance is usually sold in $1,000 increments. You will have to talk to several companies before you find one that is willing to sell you a policy for the amount of coverage you want. Remember, insurance pays for the value of the items destroyed, not replacement costs. If you want replacement costs, this is usually available for an extra fee.
Special Note: Do not assume that your parent's homeowners policy automatically covers you if you live away from home. Check it out. Many homeowners policies cover you if you are a student living in a dorm, but not if you live off campus.
Landlord's Right to Enter: He or she can enter at all reasonable times for any legitimate purpose. He or she is not required to give you advanced notice that he or she will enter, unless it is so stated in your lease. You can never change the locks and refuse to give the landlord a key. You are only the renter. You cannot insist that the landlord enter only when you are there.