Keep your tenants happy. Avoid paying out lots of money to fix boiler breakdowns. Take out landlord boiler cover.
Boiler cover, which you might have heard called boiler breakdown cover or gas boiler breakdown cover is an insurance policy that may help protect your boiler and limit the hit to your finances if/when your boiler develops a fault or completely breaks down.
In the event of a problem, having boiler cover means you may be entitled to get help with paying the costs engineers will charge to fix your boiler problem and pay for new parts if required. Their call out charge may also be covered, and most boiler cover plans include a free annual visit. More about that later.
Do I need landlord boiler cover? Is landlord boiler cover worth it?
Landlords are legally responsible for covering the cost of repairs and maintenance to faulty boilers on their property. You will also need to arrange for an engineer to visit the property to carry out the boiler fix. It's not up to your tenants, as they won't be eligible for boiler cover.
Before getting cover, check the terms of your landlord insurance policy. It may be the case that your boiler is covered by your buildings and contents insurance. Your boiler may also be covered by the manufacturer's warranty, especially if it's less than ten years old. An extended warranty may also apply, especially if your boiler was installed by an approved source, such as Vaillant Advanced or Worcester Accredited installers.
If not, it's a good idea to take out boiler cover. As well as the peace of mind it offers, the cover allows you to give your tenants permission to call out engineers to fix the problem without you having to visit the property, which is handy if you live a long way away.
The cost of cover will depend on the make and the age of the boiler. If it's over 15 years old, you're likely to have to pay more for your cover, as the chances of a breakdown will be higher. If your boiler has broken down before, some landlord boiler cover providers will have special terms stated in their policy regarding repairs to conditions that already exist.
Why bother with landlord boiler cover? I've got a manufacturer's warranty
This warranty only covers you if your boiler breaks down during a certain time frame. Outside of that, or if your boiler problem is caused by unpredictable physical damage or other parts of your central heating set-up, your boiler warranty might not apply and you will have to pay for the repairs. So it's important to check the terms of your warranty.
What landlord boiler cover do I need?
The differences between landlord boiler packages are mostly in the details. Often, the excess you need to pay will vary, as will the number of call-outs you're allowed to make. You should also check whether the helpline is a 24/7 service.
Be sure the cover fits your needs—for example, check that you can schedule engineer visits for evenings or weekends. And check to see if the annual visit is all part of the package. Some landlord boiler cover only permits a limited number of call-outs per year, while others are unlimited. Be sure to compare landlord boiler cover before committing to one supplier.
The advantages of getting landlord boiler cover
As with all insurance, it gives you peace of mind and makes getting boiler repairs less stressful. With landlord boiler cover, you won't need to fork out a huge amount of money to get the boiler fixed. And your cover will almost certainly include a free annual visit that will help keep your manufacturer's warranty valid.
Having a landlord boiler cover will also give you access to a helpline and some enable you to make unlimited call outs to engineers when you need to. What's more, boiler cover will usually include repairs to boiler controls if they become faulty.
Landlord boiler cover vs Central heating cover
Working out the difference between landlord boiler cover and central heating cover can be tricky because of course boilers are part of your central heating. And the key difference between the types of cover is that central heating cover (which is sometimes called boiler and heating cover) applies to the whole central heating set-up, including radiators, piping, controls and, of course, the boiler. Landlord boiler cover just focuses on the boiler and its controls.
What's the difference between landlord boiler cover and homeowner boiler cover?
Both types of boiler cover will usually include repairs to your boiler and its controls, plus the right to call out engineers, use a customer helpline, and get an annual boiler service and safety inspection. The key difference between landlord boiler cover and homeowner boiler cover is that with landlord cover, you will get what's called a Landlord Gas Safety Record—a legal document that serves as proof that you get your gas appliances checked on an annual basis.
What is a landlord gas safety inspection (CP12)?
Anytime that a gas appliance in your home needs to be tested or serviced, this has to be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They are the only people legally who can check everything from gas boilers to stovetops.
The job of the Gas Safe inspection is to ensure that all gas appliances are properly set and adjusted in order that the gas burns correctly. They will also check that they are suitable for the room they are located in as well as that they are physically stable and securely fitted. Finally, they will check the gas pipework to make sure this is in good order.
Other elements of the gas safety check include:
What is excess? And do I have to pay for it?
Excess just means the money you pay towards the cost of getting an engineer out to fix a problem with your boiler. Some landlord boiler cover packages will include this excess charge in the monthly fee they set. Others may levy a charge of around £60 on you for an engineer to visit your rental property.
Can I switch to a different landlord boiler cover provider?
The short answer is yes, and it's often a lot easier than many landlords think. Switching providers is a good way to make savings. But it can cost you too as you may have to pay a cancellation charge if you switch before your policy expires (which is usually 12 months after it started). If you're really keen to switch and don't mind paying the fee, then there's nothing to stop you switching landlord boiler cover providers.