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August 08, 2014


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#4 is part of our form lease and we generally rely upon it to avoid payment if there's an issue where a tenant's personal property is damaged.

#5 is still necessary even with a management firm, they will not pick up on deferred maintenance or cosmetic issues unless a tenant complains (typically).

My lease explicitly points out that my insurance does not cover their contents and it also advises them to purchase a renter's policy. I always point this out to the tenant when signing a new lease. I do not however require it because tracking that is an extra headache that I do not need.

My insurance agent wants me to require it and make them carry 100K of liability in their policy but I believe that is mostly to protect my agent's interest so that they could try to get that policy to pay first. I have enough liability coverage that I am not worried about the tenant carrying an extra 100K.

In my opinion as a landlord number 1 and 2 are common sense, and number 3 is highly recommended. I did not do number 5 in the case of allowing a dog in an apartment and it really destroyed the apartment. So, I have learned my lesson on number 5.

I am doing number 6 myself, but due to the income levels, most of the deductions for the apartment is not allowed even though the net-net numbers are negative.


Our rent actually includes a small renters insurance policy, but we carry our own as well.

When I rented in college, renter's insurance was required from all 3 different places I rented.

In my lease, the tenant can opt out of getting renter insurance if they'd like. They just need to initial that bullet and understand that their stuff are not insured by the landlord.

My current place requires renter's insurance. However, the actual required minimum is just the $100K liability, which is clearly designed to protect the landlord's insurer (thereby turning the landlord's insurance policy into an excess coverage policy, difference paid for by me). Once you actually own some decent furniture and electronics, any renter should get insurance, though.

Tenant selection is the most important. But, it might require you violate #2. For example, in Missouri you can do a litigation search on the tenant to see if they are prone to sue or have been sued.

Consider getting a personal umbrella policy, particularly if you don't have a separate entity owning the property. If you do a separate entity, you must observe good accounting (segregation of funds) or else that separate entity won't be respected.

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