As a renter, you have certain legal rights that you can exercise even if you haven’t signed a lease agreement. Saying out loud that you won’t be using these rights doesn’t mean that your landlord can do anything. Both parties have responsibilities, for which they are held accountable.
The landlord should follow all laws so that the apartments, the common areas (laundry rooms, halls, yard, and driveway), and the entire building are safe. Repairs for heating, ventilation, electrical, plumbing, elevators, and appliances should be taken care of immediately. The water tanks should always be full and the heaters working perfectly in winter season. Removal of any toxic or hazardous materials must be carried out promptly. There are plenty of other things, but you get the gist.
If you feel that the landlord is not doing a good job, you can file a case by taking advantage of the Housing Code Enforcement notice.
A landlord should do all this, and you have the right to make demands as well, but what a landlord cannot do is force you to have renter’s insurance. Yes, you heard it right. But there’s a catch… there’s always, isn’t it?
First, let’s talk about the other lingering question, “Why should I buy renter’s insurance?”
You were thinking about, admit it. You were probably wondering why you need to buy renter’s insurance when the place you live in is not a home but merely another living space.
Two things: Liability and Personal Belongings Coverage.
What Makes Renter’s Insurance So Appealing?
Madeline was having trouble with her new home’s down payment so she decided to stay in an apartment for a few months and save more. She found a nice apartment on 200 Broad Street. The place was great and had all the facilities she was looking for. She contacted the landlord and told him that she wanted to rent the apartment for the next 6 months. The landlord drafted a contract and she signed it.
During the second month of her stay, a fire broke out in the apartment. It was big enough that all the residents had to empty the building. By nightfall, the fire was put out but the damage was extensive.
Turns out that there was a spark in the wires and somehow, the whole electrical box caught on fire. Most of the residents wanted their personal belongings restored and you were in the same line.
The landlord had liability insurance but the majority of the residents had no renter’s insurance. The landlord will do the necessary repairs but he is not accountable for your personal belongings. A landlord has limited coverage that protects the building and him from liability. Similarly, your renter’s insurance policy has limited coverage.
This is why it is necessary to buy renter’s insurance. Don’t buy the policy so that you can sue the landlord in case of an accident but for your protection. One of the best benefits of renter’s insurance is that if you ever do end up in this kind of situation, your policy will pay for living expenses due to your apartment being inhabitable.
Can My Landlord Force Me to Buy Renter’s Insurance?
The Connecticut law gives landlord and renters the feasibility of making their own rules. It’s up to you and your landlord what you agree upon. Do read the fine print to make sure that you know everything about the agreement. A landlord can recommend renter’s insurance or make it a rule for renting the apartment in Connecticut. You have the right to refuse but that doesn’t mean the landlord will let go. Of course, you can negotiate and come to mutual terms.
The truth is — most of the landlords require you to have renter’s insurance. You might even face penalties for non-compliance. In some cases, the penalty is a small fee and in other, you might be kicked out of the apartment. The reason why your landlord asks for renter’s insurance is because they are looking out for you. It is not just another tactic to make money. The landlord cannot afford the type of coverage the residents need, which is why they recommend that you buy your own protection. Lastly, the renter’s insurance ensures the landlord that if you do accidentally damage the property due to negligence; you will have the means to do the repairs.
In most cases, lease negotiations are one-sided. As mentioned earlier, it’s a “take it or leave it” kind of situation. These terms are usually placed on high-end apartments because here, the landlord has more to lose.
What Is In It for Me?
Let’s assume that your building’s sidewalk has snow on it. One fine evening during a stroll, you slip on the snow and fall hard. This is now a liability case. Your renter’s insurance pays to protect you and the landlord’s policy pays to protect him.
On the other hand, if there’s a fire in your apartment that you accidentally caused, then you will be held liable. Your landlord will want you to pay for the repairs because the fire was caused by you. Your renter’s insurance will not only help you pay for the repairs but will also you to recover your belongings.
In short — the aim of a renter’s insurance policy is to not insure the building but yourself and your personal belongings.
Think about this: when you will eventually buy a house, you will a home insurance policy. The reason why you are living in an apartment is because you want to save for your new house. Moreover, the furniture you are using now is what you will furnish your new house with. Buying a house comes with many responsibilities and in the first year, you will have a lot of expenses. Better protect your current belongings so that you can take your memories with you. This is why renter’s insurance is so important.
If you are looking for a qualified insurance agent, who will help you set the term of you renter’s insurance policy in Connecticut, then visit Pawson. We provide different types of home insurance policies for families and individuals. To know more about their policies, contact them at 203-481-8898.
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