Insurance that will come to a property owner’s defence

Property owners and management companies have plenty to think about, whether that is maintenance, lettings or safety. However, it would pay for many to also think about management liability
protection (MLP).

MLP is often overlooked by property professionals, who do not typically consider all the ways in which they could be involved in a legal or regulatory process that quickly eats into their budget.

Investigations or prosecutions are just one risk faced. Complying with legislation such as the Housing Maintenance Code and Multiple Dwelling Law is an essential part of property ownership and management. Meanwhile, regulators such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), HMRC, the ICO, police, fire service and local authority are always in the background, ensuring standards and laws are upheld. A slip-up with any of these bodies could result in a costly and time-consuming process that
requires expert legal representation.

Both the Fire Safety Act 2021 and Building Safety Act 2022 have placed a greater onus on property professionals to ensure buildings are fire-safe. If over 18 metres high, there is a legal requirement to register the building and ensure all aspects relating to its fire safety are digitally recorded and part of a ‘golden thread’ of information that is part of fire safety law. Failure to do so will have legal ramifications.

Data protection is another and potentially hard-to-manage duty, but it is not the only possible pitfall. Any breaches of employment laws, such as not adhering to minimum wage legislation or IR35 rules, could be equally problematic at a legal level. Failing to pay due sums to HMRC could spark a tax investigation; a breach of landlord leasing regulations could also occur, or accusations of discrimination in letting policy might arise. The possibilities are numerous.

Cost will be a consequence of any such incident or investigation. Professional legal advice and representation typically come with a hefty price tag. However, without such assistance, a case could be lost or the ultimate penalty higher than if a convincing defence had been mounted. Typically, there is no option but to appoint a legal adviser and suffer the financial hit.

That is unless MLP is in place. This insurance covers costs incurred in defending a claim, investigating a scenario or funding an appeal against a ruling. It also provides legal advice and crisis line access 24/7 to proactively try to prevent any legal problem from occurring. Expert claims handling services are another benefit.

This sort of protection is available to property owners and property management companies, but a special policy also exists for Residents’ or Tenants’ Associations, which can be invaluable when disputes need settling.

MLP can protect the assets of both a business and the individual who might be personally held liable. Your broker can explain how it can cover Directors & Officers Liability, Employment Practices Liability and Corporate Legal Liability to keep you and your business robustly protected. With so much regulation surrounding the property market, it is probably time to have that conversation today.

For more information about management liability protection, get in touch with L Wood Insurance Brokers today.