Ireland's 'accidental landlords' face huge financial risks

More than 700,000 people live in rented properties across Ireland...

Landlords have been warned that they are exposed to serious financial risks if they have started letting a property (or properties) without notifying their insurance company.

Jonathan Hehir Managing Director of commented, "We’ve seen this cohort of people struggling to get insurance claims paid due to their failure to notify insurers of the 'change of purpose' of the property or of a change in tenant profile."

He added that Ireland has 172,121 landlords and 704,332 occupants and that those who are not professional landlords may be unaware of the need to update their insurance information.

"We suspect that a significant proportion of these landlords have the incorrect insurance in place. If the house was to flood, or if a tenant decided to make a claim against the homeowner’s policy, the policyholder is left wide open if they do not have the correct insurance policy in place," Mr Hehir added.

Figures from show that Insurance companies will charge less to insure properties rented to families and couples, and "significantly more" if students are staying in your property.

"It might seem unfair but insurers definitely classify students as being a greater risk than families when it comes to policies. Insurers don’t pick the figures from thin air, they are based on supporting claims experience. If you fail to disclose that you have rented your property to student, they are very likely to decline a claim even where the tenant hasn’t contributed to the loss" Mr Hehir commented.