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Does Landlord Insurance Cover Tenant Damage in California?

A landlord in Los Angeles inspects tenant damage to their rental property.

Landlord insurance is a necessary protection that can save a rental property owner thousands of dollars in damage, repairs, liability expenses, and loss of rent. But one of the main questions landlords ask is if landlord insurance covers tenant damage.

Yes, landlord insurance does cover some tenant damage. However, there are strict requirements and categories this damage must fall under to qualify for coverage.

In this article, we will take a deep dive into the details of what tenant damage landlord insurance covers and how to save on repair expenses when it doesn’t.

What Tenant Damages Does Landlord Insurance Cover?

There is only one category of tenant damage that landlord insurance covers: accidental damage caused by the tenant.

This type of damage may be a broken window or damaged carpet or a kitchen fire. The damage must be an accident and have caused necessary damage.

Landlord insurance will also cover any rent lost due to the damage caused by the tenant. So, not only will the repair costs be covered, but so will the loss of rent due to an inhabitable property.

What Tenant Damage is Not Covered by Landlord Insurance?

Now that you know what type of tenant damage is covered by landlord insurance, it’s important to learn what damage is not.

Intentional or Malicious Damage

Sometimes, you may be stuck with a rambunctious and even malicious tenant in your Los Angeles rental property. Unfortunately, damage intentionally caused by the tenant is not covered by landlord insurance.

Such damages may include holes in the wall, spray painting the walls, scratched floors, or broken appliances and furniture.

This is one of the reasons why it’s important to screen tenants before letting them sign a lease. However, this damage could be seen as a breach of the lease, and you can move forward with methods to make your bad tenants leave.

Maintenance Issues

If maintenance issues pop up, such as leaking pipes, problems with appliances, or an electrical socket not working properly, landlord insurance does not cover this.

Usually, with appliances, landlords will take advantage of warranties from when they purchased the appliance. Although, when it comes to minor maintenance, they are on their own to make the repairs.

Normal Wear and Tear

Nothing lasts forever. After owning a rental property for a while or investing in an older property, landlords will notice wear and tear. This could be in the form of a door lock sticking, drafty windows, or a water heater not working properly.

These normal effects of time and people living in the rental property are not covered by landlord insurance and are the landlord’s responsibility to maintain and fix.

How to Use the Tenant’s Security Deposit for Tenant Damages

An image of a red umbrella protecting a rental property.

While landlord insurance doesn’t cover most tenant damage, there is another way landlords protect themselves from shelling out money to cover the repairs.

Landlords will collect security deposits at the beginning of the lease to use in case of tenant damage not covered by their landlord insurance.

The security deposit can be equal to either one or two months’ rent, according to California law. Landlords have 21 days after the lease ends to either return the security deposit to their tenants in full or send an itemized receipt of deductions totaling $125 or more. 

In fact, before making a claim to their landlord insurance for accidental tenant damage, they should first use funds from the security deposit. If the security deposit doesn’t cover the entire expense, then they can place their claim.

Be careful, though. When a landlord makes a claim to their insurance, the premium rate may increase.

What Else Does Landlord Insurance Cover?

We’ve determined what type of tenant damage landlord insurance covers, but what else can landlord insurance assist landlords with? Check out this blog to learn more. 

How to Avoid Tenant Damage in Los Angeles

Even though landlords may take out a landlord insurance policy, it doesn’t guarantee that the damage done by tenants will be covered. As we explained in this article, only accidental damage done by tenants is covered by landlord insurance.

What if there was a surefire way to avoid tenant damage and problematic tenants altogether?

When you work with a reliable and experienced property management company like Lotus Property Services in Los Angeles, you can expect high-quality and respectful tenants living in your rental property.

With a thorough tenant screening process, impeccable tenant relationship management, and routine property inspections, landlords can rest assured their investment properties are in excellent hands.

If you’re interested in switching to better Los Angeles property management, this blog will tell you how.

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