FAQs

Agent FAQs

Who’s Rentguard

Is Rentguard an insurer or an insurance intermediary?

Rentguard acts as an insurance intermediary. We are an independent insurance broker and offer a range of insurance products from a number of specialists, leading insurers.

Who regulates insurance at Rentguard?

Rentguard is regulated by the FCA, the regulator of the financial services industry in the UK (No. 670126). We are placed on their register and comply with all their regulations allowing us to advise and sell insurance.

We adhere to the Codes of Practice of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), and the Financial Ombudsman Service. Your personal details and any customer information provided are also covered by the Data Protection Act. We are members of the British Insurance Brokers Association (4733).

Why should register to become a Rentguard agent?

Market innovation and expertise ensures that Rentguard provides a flexible, easy to understand product range, suited to the risks faced by the modern landlord. We offer a comprehensive range of insurance products at competitive prices.

Rentguard is committed to:

  • Providing comprehensive advice on all products and services
  • Rapid claims handling service
  • Prompt resolution of all customer transactions and queries
  • Providing a number of alternative contact methods » Offering a one stop solution to all landlords needs
  • Presenting value for money products
  • We strive for all transactions to be completed accurately and promptly, and will endeavour to ensure that all Rentguard clients receive dedicated customer support.
Who are the underwriters?

All Rentguard policies are underwritten by leading UK insurance companies such as Ageas, Brit, Legal & General, Novae, NIG, XL Catlin and certain underwriters at Lloyd’s of London.

Can a new start up apply for Rentguard’s broker registration?

Rentguard welcomes all insurance brokers, letting and estate agents, independent financial advisors and any other property related businesses throughout the UK. We are flexible enough to be able to welcome start-ups and businesses of any size.

Benefits in working with Rentguard

Is there a registration fee?

There is no registration fee or administration costs involved when setting up an account with us.

Do I need to bring in a minimum amount of customers each month?

There is no minimum amount of insurance policies needed to be placed on cover each month. However our excellent agent support service is designed to help you grow your business providing personal support and bespoke solutions online or over the phone.

How will I earn commission?

You will earn commission for every policy put on cover. The standard commission rate is 20% but this is dependent on the amount of business placed with us and can be renegotiated over the period of the agreement

How long will I have to wait for my policy documents to be sent me by post?

We put your documents in the post within 24 hours of receiving the quote so please allow between 2 to 3 days for the documents to arrive to your home address as that’s our standard time.

How to manage your Agent Account

What is the agent login area for?

The agent login area is specifically designed for our registered agents, it enables them to track policies, get online quotes and access as well as email policy documentation to their policy holders with just one mouse-click.

I have forgotten my login details what should I do?

Call a member of our Customer Services team or your dedicated Account Manager on 0208 587 1060 and we will re-issue your login details for you.

Product FAQs

Buildings insurance

How do I find out my re-build value?

If you have had a recent valuation on your property by a surveyor, an indication will be provided on the report. Alternatively you can find out as follows:

  • Consult a chartered surveyor. (Find them through RICS website for example)
  • Look online. *These sources will not apply to properties of non-standard construction, listed properties, or properties built before 1920.
  • Consult an estate/letting agent for some comparative examples
Do you need to know who my tenants are?

No, the tenant type (working professionals, DSS, students, etc.) will help us to determine your premium, but we generally do not require the names or occupations of your tenants.

Does “Loss of Rent” cover me if my tenants do not pay their rent?

No, “Loss of Rent” is included as standard with all residential property insurance. It protects you if your property is made uninhabitable, due to one of the insured perils, such as fire or flood. Defaulted rent payments can be covered under our Legal expenses and Rent Guarantee insurance.

Can I take a policy out for a few weeks/ a month/ 6 months etc?

All new Rentguard policies run for the period of 12 months (except Legal Expenses and Rent Guarantee cover which is also available for 6 months period). However, if you already have a Rentguard policy, and would like to take out another, we can ensure that both properties have a common renewal date. This means that the premium will be pro-rata to reflect the cover dates.

A small percentage of the roof is flat, is this OK?

All underwriters require you to declare the existence of a flat roof and it is important you give us an accurate description. How this will impact your premium varies on a case to case basis.

Can I have my mortgage interest noted on the policy?

Yes, simply tell us the name of your mortgage lender, and we will note their interest on the certificate.

Can you fax my new policy details to a third party (solicitor, mortgage lender etc.)?

Yes, once the policy has been set up, at the policy holder’s request, we can fax/email/post policy details to any third party required.

Will you be able to cover only the flat above a shop?

Yes, as long as the flat above has a separate entrance to the shop and there is no method of access/egress between premises,, we can cover the flat only. It is the responsibility of the policy holder to ensure that any other parts of the building are insured.

I own my home, but have lodgers, would I need a landlord policy?

No, in the case of lodgers, a Homecare Owner Occupier policy would be set up. Any lodgers must be disclosed to Rentguard at the time of taking up the policy. Our Homecare policy allows for up to 4 lodgers in any one dwelling.

My property is let through the local authority, is that okay?

Yes, there must be a tenancy agreement in place between the landlord and the local authority. It is the responsibility of the landlord to find out what type of tenants will be occupying the property (working professionals, DSS family, students etc), as this will affect your premium.

My property consists of bed-sits, does this affect my premium?

Yes you can still get a quote subject to underwriting criteria. Please note your property must meet all current local and national authority regulations governing rented accommodation

How long are quotes valid for?

We can commit to honoring quote for up to 30days. We do however make every effort to maintain all quotes previously provided although this may not always be possible.

Content Insurance

How do I work out my contents sum insured?

The contents sum insured is the total sum of all of your belongings, including carpets and curtains. Contents cover does not include fixtures and fittings, as these are covered under buildings insurance.

Unoccupied properties

How long can I leave the property unoccupied?

Your property can be left unoccupied for 30 days between lets, before need to contact Rentguard to inform us of the change in occupancy.

My property is currently unoccupied. Does full cover still apply?

If your property is unoccupied and suitably furnished for normal habitation, full cover will apply. However depending on the type of policy, length of the unoccupancy, if the property is unfurnished, or undergoing any structural work, cover may be limited during that period.

I have a second home that is unoccupied for six months of the year; do I need Holiday Home or Unoccupied insurance cover?

If you have a second home, or holiday home within the UK, it can be insured as a UK Holiday Home, under the Landlords Insurance policy. The property must be furnished for normal habitation and visited on a regular basis by the owner(s) or their guest(s).

Accidental damage cover

Do Rentguard policies include accidental damage?

Our Landlords buildings and contents policy covers you for accidental damage to audio and audio visual units (such as television sets), and accidental breakage of fixed glass, sanitary fixtures, glass in furniture, and ceramic hobs. Our Commercial Property and Tenant Contents insurance policies include accidental damage, as standard. Accidental damage is also available for an additional premium on Home Insurance.

What does accidental damage cover?

Accidental damage cover will include any damage by external or accidental means. If your buildings insurance policy includes accidental damage, you will be covered for incidents such as putting a foot through the loft floor.

Landlord FAQs

Property management

I want to let out my property, do I need to tell my mortgage provider?

Yes, if you have a residential mortgage you must obtain the permission of your mortgage provider before looking to rent out the property.

How do I improve the chances of letting out my property?

Your properties should be clean, well-maintained, and well decorated to increase your chances of finding a tenant. Properties without curtains, light fittings, smoke alarms and furniture indicate an uncaring landlord. Make sure that your rental property looks and feels like somewhere that you yourself would be happy to live.

Should I use a managing agent?

Managing agents create a professional distance between you and your tenants. They can also help take the strain out of dealing with un-pleasantries such as deposit disputes or rent arrears. If you decide to use a managing agent, then you should choose one which is a member of the Property Ombudsman (TPO) as this way you can be sure they will be up to date with current legislation, and provide an independent arbitrator should you be unhappy with their service.

How much rent should I charge?

If you are using a letting agent, they will conduct a full rental valuation for you. However, if you are managing your property independently, you should calculate an appropriate rental figure based on a variety of factors – the location, condition and size of the property and your overheads for example. You should look at what other similar properties in your area are on the market for. Obviously you want a healthy rental yield, but don’t be greedy as this may price you out of the market, especially in areas of high competition.

Why should I have an inventory?

An inventory is a comprehensive documentation of the contents and condition of your property. It is important you draw one up at the beginning of the tenancy as this is your proof should there be any dispute over damage at the end of the tenancy. It is also a good idea to take photographs of the current condition of the property and items in it such as furniture as further proof should there be any disputes. Remember to include outside assets such as sheds, gardens and the tools within them as well as household items.

Whose responsibility is it to insure a rental property?

The landlord should insure the property and any contents (such as furniture) provided with it. Get a quick quote on your property now. Tenants are responsible for insuring their own contents within the property – check out our great range of Tenants Contents Insurance here.

Do I need to protect my Tenant’s deposit?

Since April 2007, it is a legal requirement to register the tenant’s security deposit for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales in an approved deposit protection scheme. Visit https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview for more details.

Can I enter my property during the tenancy period?

You can, provided you give the tenants fair notice – usually at least 24 hours. Do not turn up unannounced (except in an emergency), although it is your property it is their living space, so always consider your tenant’s privacy.

What are my obligations regarding Gas?

A Landlord’s Gas Safety check must be carried out on a 12 month basis by a properly qualified engineer on any property which has gas appliances. Further information can be found on www.gassaferegister.co.uk

What happens if the tenant damages my property?

The deposit taken at the beginning of the tenancy (or a suitable amount of it) can be withheld from the tenant to carry out any necessary repairs at the end of the agreement. You should also get comprehensive building and contents insurance for each one of your properties to protect yourself against any permanent structural damage and loss or damage to your possessions.

Does a landlord have to pay tax?

Landlords are liable to pay tax on their rental income (whether based in the UK or overseas). You can find further information on this on the Inland Revenue’s website www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm

Whose responsibility is the TV licence? the tenant’s or the landlord’s?

It is a combined responsibility to ensure that the address has a valid TV licence, which one of you is responsible for the upkeep of this, is just one of the many points that should be covered in the tenancy agreement. However if you as landlord provide a television with the property then you are expected to pay for the TV licence, especially if it is in a communal area.

Can a tenant change the locks without consent from a landlord?

Yes, however the tenant must return the original locks at the end of the tenancy and allow the landlord access as required.

What should I do if a tenant has left furniture in the property after they have moved out?

Possessions and furniture left behind at the end of the tenancy are still classed as the tenants and if sold or disposed of a claim can be made against the landlord. The landlord becomes a ‘bailee’ when the goods are left behind and can only legally sell or remove them under the Torts (interference with goods) Act 1977. Landlords are not permitted to sell the goods for compensation against any damage Landlords are not permitted to sell the goods for compensation on any damage caused by the tenant or for any unpaid rent. You should keep evidence that you have done everything you can to contact the tenant and return the possessions, before using your judgement on what to do with them.

Policy Conditions

Why do I need an Energy Performance Certificate?

You are legally required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to any prospective tenant viewing a property. Failure to comply may result in a fine. The certificate ranks the property’s energy efficiency on a scale of A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. Simple improvements such as double glazing and loft insulation can help improve your rating.

Complaints Centre

What is the TPO?

The Property Ombudsman is an independent body to which Landlords can refer any complaint should your letting agent fail to address it in a satisfactory manner.

Services FAQs

Amendments and cancellations

Will I be charged for a policy amendment?

There is no charge to make any mid-term adjustments or amendments. Simply contact our customer services department and we will be happy to help you. If you wish to increase the re-build values or make any additions or reductions to your policy, you can do so by simply contacting customer services.

My property has gone up in value so should I increase my re-build value?

If the re-sale value of your property has increased, this does not necessarily mean that the re-build value has as well. In cases like this, it is best to contact a chartered surveyor, who will be able to advise you of your rebuild value.

What do I do if my tenant type changes?

If your tenant type changes (i.e. from students to working people) you must inform Rentguard as soon as possible, as this may affect the terms of your policy. You may also be required to pay an additional premium, or be entitled to a refund, depending on the circumstances.

Can I add a name to the policy?

Yes, you are able to take out our insurance policies in multiple names.

What is the cancellations procedure and how much is the cancellation fee?

You are entitled to cancel your insurance policy at any stage during the policy term. You are entitled to a period of 14 days in which to consider the content of your insurance policy, and the extent of the cover therein. Cancellation of your policy within 14 days is therefore subject to a full refund. After 14 days, cancellation of your insurance policy will be subject to the normal terms and conditions of the policy wording.

If I cancel my direct debit with my bank, will that cancel my policy?

No. In order to cancel your policy, you need to contact Rentguard directly. Please see our contact us page for details of various contact methods.

How do I change the bank account my Direct Debit is taken from?

In order to change the bank details of your Direct Debit, you will need to contact Rentguard directly. Please see our contact us page for details of various contact methods.

Insurers / underwriters

Who are the underwriters?

Rentguard policies are underwritten by leading UK insurance companies including Brit, Legal & General, XL Catlin, NIG, Ageas, AXA, and Lloyd’s of London.

Claims

I have a leak – how do I make a claim?

If you have suffered loss or damage, and are looking to make a claim, a claim form will be sent out to you upon your request. This will need to be completed in full and sent back to us, accompanied by a minimum of two detailed estimates. Claims must be reported no longer than 30 days after the incident.

Can I get work done straight away if I have suffered loss/damage to my property?

Only emergency work to prevent further loss can be undertaken, for example, boarding up a broken window. Under no circumstances should full repairs be carried out without our prior consent.

Payment details

What are the payment options for placing policies?

You can pay for your Rentguard policy by Credit/Debit Card, or Direct Debit. Rentguard agents have the additional option of setting up an account with us, paying for all business on a monthly basis.

Can I pay monthly?

Yes, our Direct Debits are subject to a 10% premium charge, and the instalments are spread over ten months.

Is there an extra charge if I pay by Credit/Debit Card?

There is no additional charge if you pay by Credit/Debit Card.

I have two (or more) properties insured with you, do I receive a discount?

No, we can offer a block scheme if you place five or more policies with us at one time, but not on two policies.

Tenant Referencing FAQs

Do I need to register?

Before using Rentguard Tenant Referencing services you will need to register your details with us. The details you supply will be used solely for the purpose of providing our services to you.

Once you have completed the registration form you will immediately receive an email informing you of the login details to access your personal user area. Your personal user area is where you start new applications, track progress and check results.

There is no registration or monthly charges – simply register online or fax back sighed registration form on 0208 587 1062 and pay only when you want to order a service.

Which type of enquiry should I carry out?

This is a personal choice and depends on your attitude to risk assessment. Simply, using our Credit Check service will let you know if your prospective tenants or guarantors have had any problems in the past and given you the correct addresses. Our profile will include references and income confirmation and the result will be predictive of what is likely to happen in the future. If you are intending to take out our Legal Expenses and Rent Guarantee insurance you will need to carry out the referencing requirements appropirate to the tenancy type.

How do I place an order?

All orders must be placed via your personal user area and immediate payment is required.

For Credit Check and Company applications you simply enter the information required into the online form. For Full Profile applications you can choose between an online application or sending in completed paper applications.

Further information on how to place an order

Can I issue application forms to my tenants?

Yes, you are able to download our application form and issue one form per tenant/guarantor. Before sending the application to us you must first login, place the order and make payment for the service.

How do I pay for your services?

Our services are provided to landlords on a pay-as-you-order basis. All new referencing requests should be made from within your user area. At the end of the ordering process you will be diverted to our payment processor Sage Pay to make a secure payment.

You will be sent an automatic VAT invoice confirming the payment that has been made.

Can I purchase Rent & Legal insurance cover?

Tenant Referencing is a requirement of our Legal Expenses & Rent Guarantee products. Using Rentguard Tenant Referencing will help meet the requirements of the policy.

Further information about Rent & Legal Protection Requirements

When will you recommend a guarantor is in place?

We will recommend a guarantor when:

  • The applicant has insufficient income
  • The applicant has minor credit history problems
  • The applicant is unemployed or we are not happy with the status of their employer
  • The applicant is self-employed and unable to provide acceptable proof of income
  • We receive a negative reference from a current/previous landlord
  • The applicant is a student, unemployed or on housing benefit
  • The applicant’s history of residence or identity cannot be verified
  • The application is considered generally weak for any other reason
When will you decline a guarantor?

We will decline a guarantor application when:

  • Negative credit history is located
  • The guarantor has insufficient income
  • The guarantor is employed on a temporary contract or casual employment
  • The guarantor is self-employed and has no proof of income
  • The guarantor’s residency at their address cannot be verified
  • The information on the application is found to be fraudulent
Who would be an acceptable guarantor?

An acceptable guarantor will be financially stable and able to demonstrate that they can afford to cover the tenant’s rent; they have to be a full UK resident and be confirmed at their current address; they should not have any adverse credit history; they should be prepared have a full guarantor reference carried out by Rentguard and to also sign a Guarantor Agreement.

Further information about Guarantor Requirements

What support do I have?

To enable you to get the most benefit from our services we have a dedicated support team to help with enquiries. They will be able to assist you through the process and answer any questions you have about Tenant Referencing.

The support team can be contacted on 0333 000 0162 Monday to Friday 8am – 5:30pm and Saturday 9am to 4pm. If you are a registered user you can also request help or advice from within your user area and track your applications 24 hours a day.

General FAQs

Does the premium include Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)?

Yes. The premium is calculated including Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) at 12%.

What is FLEA, and what cover is included in FLEA?

FLEA cover stands for Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Earthquake and Aircraft. If you are covered for FLEA only, it means that these are the only perils covered, however public liability is still included.

Is the policy index linked?

Yes. At each renewal, your building sum will be reviewed, and increased in accordance with the percentage index linking, in line with inflation. This ensures that as it becomes more expensive to rebuild your property, your insurance is sufficient to cover it.

Why has my premium gone up from last year?

If you have renewed a Rentguard policy, your premium will have increased from last year. This is because the building sum will have been index linked (see previous question).

I have a Landlord Insurance policy, but I’m moving into the property myself. Will this affect my policy?

It is possible to live in your policy between lets, and this will not affect the validity of your insurance. If moving in permanently you would need to change to Home Insurance and we would need to be contacted accordingly.

I have had one claim for £1500 this year. Will this affect my premium?

Possibly, depending on the nature of the claim, your premium may be loaded. Please ensure that Rentguard is aware of any claims you have made in the last five years, as the validity of your insurance could be at stake.

If I sell my property, can I transfer the same policy to another insured address?

No. If you have sold one property and purchased another we cannot transfer the policy over. You will need to cancel the original policy and set up a new policy for the new property.

Does my insurance cover me for injury suffered by my tenants in my property?

Yes. Legal liability for injury to others or damage to their property arising from ownership of the building is covered. The indemnity limit is £2 million(£5 m for residential landlord policy). This is distinct from the contents section which covers legal liabilities in respect of occupancy of a building.

How long will I have to wait for my policy documents to be sent to me by post?

We put your documents in the post within 24 hours of receiving the quote so please allow between 2 to 3 days for the documents to arrive to your home address as that’s our standard time.

What currencies are accepted as payment?

Please note, that Rentguard can only accept payment in pounds sterling (£).