Although renting a property does not subject a tenant to the same liability as that of a property owner, tenants can still benefit from obtaining separate renter’s insurance policies.
Renters’ insurance policies are similar to homeowners’ insurance policies but have no coverage for buildings or structures. Renter’s insurance typically covers the cost of replacing personal items that are stolen, damaged, or destroyed. Some renters’ policies cover legal liability in the event that anyone suffers an injury while on the insured property. Certain actions of the policyholder which occur away from the insured property may also be covered. The landlord’s insurance will probably not cover tenant property losses unless the tenant can specifically demonstrate that the landlord was negligent in some manner.
Although renter’s insurance is not usually required, by the terms of some leases, tenants may be required to have insurance to cover their liability exposure if someone is injured on the premises, or if damages occur from items owned by the renter, such as waterbeds. And, the landlord can, in fact, require the renter to have liability insurance. When signing a new lease, or after proper legal notice for a month-to-month rental agreement, the landlord can even lawfully change the terms of the agreement to require renter’s insurance. This may be particularly important if the renter has animals, or if the property contains a pool.
Render’s Insurance Company Duties
When a renter purchases liability insurance, part of the insurance company’s obligation is to provide a defense in the event of a lawsuit. Even though the insurance company selects the lawyer and must approve the payment of all legal fees and other expenses of the lawsuit, the lawyer represents the policyholder. Under most types of liability insurance, the insurance company has the contractual right to settle or defend the case as it sees fit. The policy owner has an opportunity to provide input, but the company typically has no obligation to obtain the policyholder’s consent or approval.
If you fail to make your home mortgage payments, foreclosure may occur. Foreclosure is the legal means that your lender can use to repossess (take over) your home. When this happens, you must move out of your house. If your property is worth less than the total amount you owe on your mortgage loan, a deficiency judgment could be pursued. If that happens, you not only lose your home, you also would owe your lender an additional amount. Both foreclosures and deficiency judgments could seriously affect your ability to qualify for credit in the future. Below are some tips on avoiding foreclosure.
The further behind you become, the harder it will be to reinstate your loan and the more likely that you will lose your house.
Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a problem.
Lenders do not want your house. They have options to help borrowers through difficult financial times.
The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options that can help you weather financial problems. Later mail may include important notice of pending legal action. Your failure to open the mail will not be an excuse in foreclosure court.
Find your loan documents and read them so you know what your lender may do if you can’t make your payments. Learn about the foreclosure laws and timeframes in your state (as every state is different) by contacting the State Government Housing Office.
Valuable information about foreclosure prevention (also called loss mitigation) options can be found on the internet at www.fha.gov/foreclosure/index.cfm.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds free or very low cost housing counseling nationwide. Housing counselors can help you understand the law and your options, organize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender if you need this assistance. Find a HUD-approved housing counselor near you or call (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339.
After healthcare, keeping your house should be your first priority. Review your finances and see where you can cut spending in order to make your mortgage payment. Look for optional expenses-cable TV, memberships, entertainment-that you can eliminate. Delay payments on credit cards and other “unsecured” debt until you have paid your mortgage.
Do you have assets — a second car, jewelry, a whole life insurance policy — that you can sell for cash to help reinstate your loan? Can anyone in your household get an extra job to bring in additional income? Even if these efforts don’t significantly increase your available cash or your income, they demonstrate to your lender that you are willing to make sacrifices to keep your home.
You don’t need to pay fees for foreclosure prevention help — use that money to pay the mortgage instead. Many for-profit companies will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender. While these may be legitimate businesses, they will charge you a hefty fee (often two or three month’s mortgage payment) for information and services your lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor will provide free if you contact them.
If any firm claims they can stop your foreclosure immediately if you sign a document appointing them to act on your behalf, you may well be signing over the title to your property and becoming a renter in your own home! Never sign a legal document without reading and understanding all the terms and getting professional advice from an attorney, a trusted real estate professional, or a HUD-approved housing counselor.
Real Estate Attorney Free Consultation
When you need legal help with a real estate matter, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506