Fired up over renters insurance

Landlord weighs claim costs against rental's marketability

Q: Can I require my tenant who’s on a month-to-month rental agreement to possess renters insurance? She had a kitchen fire over a year ago and did not have insurance. My insurance company paid off my claim and tried to collect from my tenant but dropped the case when it was determined that my tenant didn’t have any resources.

I am worried that my insurance premiums will go up because of the claim and my tenant’s failure to have her own renters insurance policy.

A: The importance of renters insurance is often overlooked by most landlords until they have an experience like the one you described. Yes, you can have a clause in your rental agreement or lease that requires your tenant to provide a certain minimum amount of renters insurance. It is fairly easy to implement for new incoming tenants. Of course, you need to be aware that this is an expense that could lead to some prospective tenants electing to rent elsewhere because other landlords have no such requirement.