Feb
04

Renting out your house for a short period

Before you ‘sign up’ to letting your home for a short period of time, such as a month during a special event or house swap, check with your insurer if sub-letting invalidates cover.

Short-term, one–off letting may have its attractions, particularly if you have a home that’s conveniently located for events such as: The Royal Wedding, Wimbledon, The Ryder Cup, The Olympics or The Edinburgh Festival.

The list is endless as the opportunities to make some money may be real, however, insurance is something that you need to think closely about.

Unfortunately, we can’t cover ‘one-off lets’ through our second home house insurance.

Main residence home insurance

At Schofields we are specialist insurers of second homes and holiday homes, and it isn’t our place to advise you in detail regarding your standard owner-occupier cover that you have in place for your main residence.

However, what we can say is that typically:

  • an owner-occupier household insurance policy may become invalid the moment you rent out your house (or part of it) for commercial reasons – even if that’s only for a week or two as a one-off;
  • you will need special cover (including liability and theft) if you plan to rent out your main house for a very short period. Your existing insurance provider may be able to give you specific advice and options relating to your current policy.

This isn’t an area that it makes sense to take chances with – so if you are planning to sub-let, getting advice sooner rather than later may be advisable.

Getting the right cover

Of course, if you have a second property from your main residence and plan to holiday let it regularly, then our insurance for holiday homes is tailored for this.

However, that is a significantly different situation from infrequently letting out your own main home, which may well be furnished to a high level and contain valuables. Even if you have removed and secured your higher-value personal items, you may still be trusting strangers with what may be your major asset and associated fixtures, fittings and contents.

Letting out your own home is a very big step and one that’s perhaps best not undertaken too lightly. Certainly, taking expert advice in advance may be a good idea. From an insurance viewpoint, there is a high risk of breakages, damage or theft – and specialist insurance cover may be required.

This is not an area that our second home policy is suitable for and as a result, we do not offer cover for very short-term rentals of primary residences. Consult your existing insurer.

As this is a question we get asked regularly and warranted clarification.

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