Poor Mans Insurance - Cover yourself!

This is a great trick my husband taught me. "Poor Mans Insurance" (as it is called) works very well for landlords and tenants alike, and is an affordable way to insure yourself against damage to property.

For any tenants reading this page too (sorry landlords, but some of you are tenants too… so I have to be fair!) it's very good protection against unscrupulous landlords or real estate agents.

Equally, it's very good protection for landlords who might need to stand up in court and prove to the tenants or their Landlords Insurance company that their tenants did do damage maliciously.

Poor Mans Insurance For Landlords

  1. The day you finish your renovations and put your property on the market, take photos of everything at its best.
  2. Use date-stamp on your camera if you have it.
  3. Print the photos out on your printer at home if you have a good one, or use a lab (lab is preferable for date-stamps because it reduces risk of tampering claims).
  4. Write notes on the back of each photo if there is something important - new blinds, heaters, light fittings, costs.
  5. If you're really worried, take a photocopy of the receipts as well, although this can be overkill.
  6. Put the photos (and receipt copies) in an envelope and post them to yourself. The postmark - with its date - is your greetest protection. Take it in and get it stamped at the desk if you have to, to get a clear mark.
  7. When you receive the envelope, file it, unopened until you need it, which will not be until you let the magistrate open it in court. This is very important!
  8. If necessary, repeat the process when your bad tenants move out and leave the place trashed.

Poor Mans Insurance For Tenants

  • On the day you move in to your rental property, take photos of any damaged parts of the property at the same time as filling out your condition report. Use date-stamp if you have it on your camera
  • print the photos out at a lab or on a printer if you need to. Lab is still preferable, especially for date-stamped pictures.
  • Copy your condition report and include it with the photos in an enveloped and post them to yourself. Make sure you get a clear postmark.
  • When you receive your envelope, don't open it. File it until you need it on the day in court or you move out and can safely throw them away (hold on to them at least six to twelve months after you move).

So use this simple technique for keeping yourself safe when you're renting or investing in rental property.

Oh yes! It applies to other situations as well: including design and copyright.

Got a Question about this type of insurance?

So... ask away!

Do you have a question about property investing that's not answered here or elswhere on this site?

Ask it here and we'll try our best to answer it for you. Sometimes there's some research involved, so please forgive us of we take a little while to post back.

Others can also comment (politely, please!) too and help you out. It's a bit like a forum and FAQ rolled into one!

Just remember, we're not financial advisers, so you should use the information we give here as a guide only (in relation to your personal circumstances) and see an accountant or financial adviser before proceeding further.

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