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How can landlords protect their property from subsidence?

Article Posted - 9th May 2019

Last year's sweltering summer saw soaring subsidence claims, with several insurers reporting that subsidence incidents were up 20 per cent. With some commentators predicting another scorcher in 2019, we consider the issues surrounding subsidence and what landlords can do to maintain and prevent their property being affected.

What is subsidence?

Subsidence is caused when the earth below a building or structure moves downwards. This movement results in a reduction in structural support and causes instability underneath the property's foundations. As a result, the property sinks, which can be extremely challenging to rectify.

Many people are concerned about the possibility of subsidence as it can be problematic, timely and costly to resolve. Early identification and awareness is the best way for landlords to avoid extensive property damage. In addition, protecting yourself from the outset with a comprehensive landlord insurance policy is vitally important to ensure that you are not left out of pocket should the worst happen.

What are the causes of subsidence?

There are a number of different factors that can contribute to subsidence, all of which could impact your property.

These include:

Subsidence warning signs that you shouldn't ignore

Typical warning signs of subsidence include:

If you notice any of these warning signs, it is important that you notify your insurer immediately. They will then be able to best advise you on the next course of action. In many cases a surveyor will be dispatched to your property to identify the extent of the issue and to identify the cause of subsidence. Issues surrounding subsidence can require careful monitoring over extended periods of time and often require specialist support to rectify.  As a result of this insurance claims related to subsidence can take longer to resolve depending on the severity of damage and so early identification and prevention are the best line of defence for your property.

How to prevent subsidence in your property

In order to prevent subsidence there are a number of measures you can take, including:

“As a landlord, ensuring the structural safety of your property should be one of your biggest priorities and protecting your property from subsidence is no exception. Subsidence can be extremely costly for landlords and as the famous saying goes, prevention is always better than cure.

A comprehensive landlord insurance policy is a must for landlords and can not only provide you with the knowledge to identify any subsidence warning signs in your property, but also rectify any issues before they escalate. NLA Property Insurance recognises that serious issues with your property, such as subsidence, can be extremely worrying for landlords. Our superior policy benefits include subsidence cover as standard, so you can rest assured that you are protected should you experience subsidence in your rental property.”

Steve Barnes, NLA Property Insurance


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