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View Diary: The price of doing bidness (211 comments)

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    •  Exactly! (7+ / 0-)

      I mean, WTF? How can you, the renter, insure something that doesn't belong to you? Sounds like a scam to me...

      "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

      by lunachickie on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:21:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Other than statutory requirement. (13+ / 0-)

      See, that's how it works. When the slumlords have local legislators on speed-dial, they can have legislation written requiring renters to carry insurance that serves only to benefit the landlord.

      Two things come to mind:

      1) Best government money can buy.
      2) It's really expensive to be poor.

      •  well yeah, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Involuntary Exile

        but where are these types of laws spelled out? I have never seen one, and after having rented a foreclosed house a few years ago, I am really, really well-acquainted with renters rights (at least in FL).

        "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

        by lunachickie on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:27:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's very jurisdiction-dependent. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          patbahn, lunachickie, orlbucfan, Ice Blue

          My brother in law owned a large old Victorian home in a rust belt Northeastern city, and rented to tenants. To his horror he found that one of his tenants was an abusive pedophile who was taking in and molesting street kids. The police didn't give a shit about the street kids and wouldn't do anything about it. So he tried to evict his tenant, only to be ironically stymied at every turn by 1960s laws intended to protect tenants from predatory landlords. I believe he only escaped this by selling the place.

          •  Oh, no doubt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Involuntary Exile
            It's very jurisdiction-dependent.
            And your example is horrifying--and I've actually read about that kind of thing, IIRC. But something like "requiring renters insurance" on property that doesn't belong to you--how in the hell could that stand up in a court of any jurisdiction?  

            Someone--seriously--needs to fight that one, and then diary on it. That's just absurd...

            "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

            by lunachickie on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:39:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  They don't need laws (0+ / 0-)

          They have a lock on the market. If you do not comply you do not get housing.

          Since I never use credit I am never in compliance thus have not been able to find housing on my own for decades.

          •  Not always (2+ / 0-)
            They have a lock on the market.
            there are plenty of private homeowners renting their property. People aren't shut out completely, though it's definitely that much harder when skeezy land barons take over a market.

            Still, there are--really--some things in which these landlord do need laws to back them up, if someone chooses to fight them. This has got to be one of them--there is no way an insurance company is going to pay a claim to you for property you claim to insure that you do not have ownership of, and if that's the case, there can't be any legal way for these landlords to require such a thing. Period.
             

            "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

            by lunachickie on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:46:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Private homeowners all have mortgages (0+ / 0-)

              And stipulated in that mortgage is the caveat that anyone who lives there pass a credit check.

              •  That's not the same thing (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Horace Boothroyd III

                as requiring renters insurance on property that doesn't belong to the renter.

                "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

                by lunachickie on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:53:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  That can only apply to property mortgaged as (0+ / 0-)

                rental property.  Purchase money mortgages and refinances of single-family properties have no provisions requiring credit checks if grandma or brother Fred moves in.  What they have are provisions requiring lender approval in writing to rent out all or a substantial portion of your home to a non-relative, or to prevent you from subdividing your property or turning it into a rooming house without obtaining written consent of the lender.  That's because renting out all or a portion of your home alters its status; it is no longer a single-family home, it is a rental property.  Everything changes when your home becomes a rental property - real estate tax valuations, property insurance rates, zoning restrictions, building codes, lender requirements, everything. So in that regarding, renting a room in someone's house is no different than renting an apartment.

                "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

                by Involuntary Exile on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:19:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  But it's liability insurance. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              StrayCat, Involuntary Exile

              Your auto liability insurance pays claims for damage you cause to property that does not belong to you. The insurance company doesn't pay out the claim to you, they pay it to the people whose car you hit.

              Similarly, you can cause damage to your apartment (it doesn't belong to you, it belongs to the owner) and the apartments around your apartment. Most renters insurance policies have liability coverage. They protect you if you start a fire or a flood: you are responsible for paying for the damages, whether or not you have the money.

              The security deposit is not the limit of your potential liability, it's the start.

              If the landlord requires you to buy a policy from a specific company I'd start to wonder about kickbacks, but requiring renters insurance protects both parties.

              •  from the renter's insurance wikipedia entry: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                StrayCat
                Renters Insurance Requirements, Generally

                Many large and medium-sized rental properties include a requirement in their lease that tenants hold renters insurance.[1] If the tenant damages the premises,[2] such as by causing a fire, the landlord or other tenants can recover against the tenant's liability insurance. Renters insurance also makes sure that the tenant knows that the landlord is not responsible for their belongings and that the tenant has coverage for them.

                •  Do we have a jurisdictional ordinance to cite? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Involuntary Exile

                  No offense, but wikipedia isn't always the most reliable resource.

                  Every single renter policy I sussed out before settling with the current company was very clear--it was for the tenant and it was for their property. There was no protection at all for the owner of the dwelling being rented--that's what homeowner insurance is for.

                  Renters insurance doesn't typically work like an auto insurance policy--renters insurance is generally very narrowly-limited to the policyholder's belongings. This can, however, be jurisdictional, which is why I was wondering if anyone has a set of actual regulations to cite from.

                  "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

                  by lunachickie on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:14:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not sure what ordinance you're looking for (0+ / 0-)

                    One that requires renters to have liability coverage? One that prohibits requiring it? I doubt you will find one that prohibits liability coverage in a renters insurance policy.

                    You can find renters insurance policies that only cover contents (your personal property), but every policy I've gotten in CA has had liability coverage as well, by my own choice.

                    The owner's homeowner insurance company will pay for damages caused by a tenant - but will then seek to recover those costs from the tenant. Just because the landlord has insurance doesn't mean tenants aren't liable for damage they cause.

                    •  Actually what we'd need to see here is (0+ / 0-)

                      the text from an actual lease where it requires the tenant to purchase renters insurance to cover the owner's dwelling. Then we'd check it against the state or local statute to see whether or not it's legal.

                      And nobody is saying owners can't recover damages from tenants...

                      The owner's homeowner insurance company will pay for damages caused by a tenant - but will then seek to recover those costs from the tenant. Just because the landlord has insurance doesn't mean tenants aren't liable for damage they cause.
                      Let me be clear--what's at issue here is whether a dwelling owner can require a tenant to buy renters insurance to cover damages to a dwelling that the tenant does not own.

                      The diarist indicates that the renters insurance was a requirement to executing a lease, and that insurance was specified not to cover the tenant's belongings but the owner's dwelling.  That is either mis-stated or mis-understood, or else it's illegal as hell.

                      As always, California may be an exception--but again, we'd need to see the wording of the lease and check it against state or local law.

                      "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

                      by lunachickie on Sun May 05, 2013 at 12:22:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Why would it be illegal? (0+ / 0-)

                        If you cause significant damage to a building it would probably extend well beyond your own unit.

                        In CA a landlord can set the minimum amount of coverage for his property and can even require that the property owner be named among the insured.

                        Googling "require renters insurance" (in quotes) and "your state" should get you a local answer. From what I've read most states allow the practice and it has become common enough in large complexes so that software companies now offer packages to landlords that track tenants' insurance policies (expiration date, etc) along with all the other stuff.

                        •  Again (0+ / 0-)

                          do we have a lease that actually uses such language? That would clear this up nicely.
                           

                          "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

                          by lunachickie on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:13:56 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep. When I was in medical school... (6+ / 0-)

            there was very little student housing available. Instead we had to rent in the neighborhood at 'market rates'. But of course virtually all the available housing had been bought up by a handful of enterprising slumlords who knew they had a captive market.

            So rents were obscenely high, for decrepit tenements with more roaches per square inch than I had ever seen in my life. And heat that didn't work. Deposits were routinely withheld for trivial (or no) reason, because the owners knew we couldn't stick around to fight over it when we headed off to residency. And complaints to the school were routinely met with a shrug; "We can't control what private landlords do".

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