Undercover Criminals: Unspent Criminal Convictions and Buy-to-Let Insurance

Undercover Criminals: Unspent Criminal Convictions and Buy-to-Let Insurance

What does an unspent criminal conviction mean for Buy-to-Let Insurance and how does it affect you as a landlord?

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According to Ministry of Justice figures, 7.3 million people in the UK have an unspent criminal conviction. What is an unspent criminal conviction? What does this mean for Buy-to-Let Insurance and how does it affect you as a landlord?

What is an unspent criminal conviction?

A criminal conviction is imposed following a finding of guilt in the court. A conviction becomes 'spent' once the rehabilitation period has passed. The nature of the conviction affects the amount of time after which a criminal conviction becomes spent. Even small fines can have an unspent period.

Insurance and unspent criminal convictions

If as a landlord you fail to inform your insurance provider of your own unspent criminal convictions then you could invalidate your Landlord Insurance cover. Likewise, non-disclosure of a tenant's unspent criminal convictions could also invalidate your insurance.

Essentially, the responsibility is on the person taking out the insurance to disclose the conviction or other material fact.

Insurance companies and 'Assumptions about you'

Don't get caught out by unknowingly failing to disclose unspent criminal convictions. You should always be aware of the assumptions. Speak to your adviser on the phone or check your insurance provider's website for assumptions insurance companies make about you (which includes you not having any unspent convictions).

Landlords and tenants who have unspent criminal convictions could find themselves in a difficult position. Informing insurers may result in a refusal to insure but failure to inform may invalidate the insurance cover if a claim is made and the unspent conviction discovered. UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders provides further relevant information regarding insurance and unspent convictions on its website at: www.unlock.org.uk

The information contained within this article is for general information purposes only, it does not constitute advice. Direct Line for Business endeavours to keep the information up to date and correct but does not make any representation or warranties of any kind about its completeness, accuracy, reliability or suitability. Any reliance you place on the information is strictly at your own risk. Direct Line for Business will not be liable for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the use of this information.

Landlord Insurance

Last Updated: 19 Mar 2015