Yes, the summer season is approaching quicker than a new Kim Kardashian nude selfie. But while I’m getting ready by practicing defensive driving techniques others are busy lining up their rentals for the Memorial Day to Labor Day pilgrimage to the east end. Oh, yeah and I’m helping them rent those houses…. I’m the number one rental agent in the Hamptons*…. didn’t I tell you that?! (*based upon stats that I won’t disclose and that are collected by me). But before you can say grab the rose wine and beach blanket, there are a few things you might need to know. Here once again with my perennial video about the obligations of renting a house in the Hamptons is my friend Rob Disario.
One thing Rob didn’t mention in the video is renters are also required to get their own insurance when residing in their temporary home. Recently, I had the chance to ask John Wallace of Amaden Gay Insurance about some of the more important points of why this is necessary…..
Protect yourself when the burglar comes to town!
1) Is it really necessary to get renter’s insurance?
I would always tell summer renters to get their own policy. The average cost is about $300-$500.00 /year. It would cover them for the personal contents and liability for at least $500,000 or more depending on the coverage they select. It would also cover them for loss of use and personal contents they brought to the home. This would cover them if for some reason due to a loss they could not stay in the home they rented they could rent another place and the insurance company would pay for it. This cover them for most everything for a fraction of the rental cost. What is the big deal if they spend $30,000 for a rental or $30,400 to be totally protected? They can always cancel the policy afterward and get probably half their money back.
2) What else can be covered with renter’s insurance?
All renters should check with their current homeowner or renters to see what they are covered for. They can also extend liability to the address they are renting for about $50-$100.00 and would be covered by their primary homeowner’s liability. Some companies give you coverage up to 10% of your contents away from home but you have to check with your carrier. This is the minimum they should do and is subject to their primary homeowners deductible.
3) Any advice for landlords?
Landlords who are renting their home should check with their carrier about renting as well. Most companies are ok with a one or 2 month rental but not much more than that. They will not cover multiple tenants with weekly rentals. Also theft will not be covered if you rent your home in the summer. Most allow up to two different tenants maybe three but that is about it. Otherwise you are looking at a situation where you may void the contract.
If you have additional questions, you can try reaching John at Amaden Gay Agencies in East Hampton 631-324-0041 or go online www.amadengay.com
As Roseanne Roseanneadanna used to say, “it’s always something” and that goes double for anyone who is thinking about becoming a landlord or tenant during the Hamptons rental season. While the always informative John Viteritti recently suggested in Hamptons.com to get it in writing, the incidents of craziness somehow still manage to find themselves into both sides of the equation. Yes,
the tenant who demands a refund because the toaster doesn’t work on one side or the landlord who changes the locks because you’ve had too many house guests (yes, both are true incidents), having things in writing is really really important. But you know there’s one other thing that both sides can do to protect themselves, their wallets and their sanity; take pictures! Yep, a simple photograph and not anything provocative that a landlord might find say in a porn movie or magazine and get upset about (yeah, that happened out here too) but rather pictures of the furniture, the rugs, the walls and of the general condition of the house.
The Summer tenant and landlords potential best friend!
It’s so simple and with smart phones now taking better quality photos than ever before there is no excuse. If you’re the landlord or the tenant, go through the house from top to bottom and make sure you show the sofa stain that was or wasn’t there. Show the rug that has the coffee stain or that was just freshly cleaned. In other words, make sure that you document the condition of the house! I’ve seen way too many fights over security deposits to name so why not take the extra half hour and get proof about the condition of the property. In most smart phones, the photographs and videos are saved with time and date so that also eliminates any question about when potential damages happened. So take it from me and no matter how nice your landlord or tenants seem, tell the sofa to say “cheese” and take it’s picture. You’ll thank me later… its good insurance that your protected!
Speaking of insurance, it’s one of the most widely asked questions by potential buyers in the Hamptons. In fact, Mr. Richard Failor from Fort Lee, NJ recently wrote me and asked; Can I get insurance in the Hamptons? Will it be expensive? Do I have to buy insurance on my house? What about flooding? Hey, you know what Mr. Failor, you’re driving me nuts! So rather than spending time to research and answer all of your annoying questions, I sat down with John Wiltershire who is director in the personal insurance department and private client services unit at Frank Crystal and Associates in Southampton and got him to give me the skinny on INSURANCE IN THE HAMPTONS……