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Take Back The Power? - Legal Insurance


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I think I've had it relatively easy as a renter (London). Not had any dreadful landlords.

However, talking to many of my friends renting (around 25), this is not always the case. Rogues and poorly educated unleveraged idiots who see themselves as consumers in the transaction abound who don't take their own responsibilites seriously. Sharp estate agents. etc.

What has always surprised was how many of them felt unable or afraid to take any of their issues further - one of my best friends (an intelligent guy earning double what his landlord ever had before the LL embarked in his business of neo-feudalism) had his unprotected deposit retained and did nothing. My sister (a trainee medic in a house of female medics) even found the landlord's son sleeping in her bed (!!!) and called the police. The landlord said "it was the student holidays and they weren't using the house and it was his house anyway". The police seemed to find the situation funny rather than serious and couldn't really understand the fuss. My dad went mental and hit the roof, but despite some angry phone calls, there was no real financial penalty barring a reluctant apology.

Noone seems willing to take these chancers on and enforce their rights - because as younger, less empowered people, we don't feel able to. I'm not all that sure I would have the courage to take things like this further into the legal system.

I was just going through the motions of looking at what I got with legal insurance with my contents insurance at renewal time. Most policies I've seen explicitely exclude 'landlord tenant issues' - but I was amazed to find that this one was explicitely included.

Am I being niave in thinking this would actually help in some of these cases?

Should renters suddenly, en-masse, start insuring themselves against their landlord's incompetences and holding their balls to the fire if they don't comply? - the opposite of the holy grail of "RGI" for landlords comes to mind.

Has anyone used these services?

As some who is about to move again this year in a newly rented place I'm wondering if £22.99 for a bit of hired legal muscle and decent advice might actually be worth it...

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The most relevant bits are on page 10:

1. The cost of you taking legal proceedings against another person or organisation as a result of:

a. a person or organisation interfering with your legal rights relating to your home (you must be legally entitled to live in the home)
b. a dispute over a contract in your name to buy or sell your home or former home or to rent your home as a tenant;
2. The cost of defending legal action brought against you as a result of:
b. a dispute over a contract in your name to buy or sell your home or former home or to rent your home as a tenant
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