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Five Common Damage Risks in Rental Properties During Winter

By Mark Hamblyn, Terri Scheer Distribution Manager

Wintry winds, rain and frost can play havoc with poorly maintained rental properties.

Prevention is much better than cure, so now is the time for property managers to assess any potential or existing issues and inform their landlords before they escalate.

Five common problems that may lead to increased risk of damage during winter include:


With increased rain levels comes an increased risk of water damage. One of the most common winter property maintenance issues is clogged gutters, which can cause internal leaks when water overflows. Property managers should keep an eye out for leaves, twigs and other debris protruding from drainage systems.


Cracked or missing roof tiles can also cause leaking and water damage. Evidence of potential roofing issues may be visible from outside the home (obvious cracks or gaps in the roof materials) or inside the home (water spots or discoloured ceilings and cornices). Any small damage appearing now could be a sign of more issues to come.

Smoke alarms

As the temperature dips, the use of heaters and appliances that pose fire risks increases. Tenants may turn to tumble dryers and electric airers to dry their clothes, burn candles for a cosy atmosphere or use electric blankets to keep warm. Smoke alarms should be checked to ensure they’re in working order and heaters – whether wood, oil or electric – serviced and inspected.


Although pools may not be in use during winter, there are certain tasks that must be carried out year-round. Pools that are poorly maintained, such as not being regularly skimmed, having debris baskets emptied and water tested, can cause costly and time-consuming efforts to get the pool ready next summer and may even lead to surface damage.

Trees and shrubs

Unruly gardens and overhanging branches can be dangerous for tenants and, if not attended to, potentially cause damage to the property. The risk of tripping hazards and falling branches can be minimised by pruning or clearing dead, damaged or overgrown trees and shrubs. Where dangerous overhang occurs from trees on the street, landlords should contact their local council to discuss the concerns.

Even when landlords and tenants have made their best efforts to prepare properties for winter, incidents outside of their control still can and do happen.

A specialist landlord insurance policy offers property owners a safety net and provide peace of mind should their investments sustain damage from winter-related incidents or other risks.

Many property managers want to ensure their landlords have good insurance policies in place. However, property managers should first check their authority to distribute or refer before dealing in insurance. Find out if you’re authorised here: https://www.terrischeer.com.au/property-managers-dealing-in-insurance-are-you-authorised/

We have changed the way Terri Scheer insurance is distributed

As of 15 June 2023, AAI Limited trading as Terri Scheer now distributes Terri Scheer brand insurance.

While this has not changed landlords’ level of cover or your interactions with us, real estate agents who trust Terri Scheer to protect their landlords’ properties should be aware of the following:

Updated Terri Scheer materials, including landlord insurance brochures

We have updated our brochures to reflect Terri Scheer’s distribution changes, which are in the footer of the brochure, and these can be accessed now via the Terri Scheer website: https://www.terrischeer.com.au/real-estate-agents/

Other updated stationery and documents, including Terri Scheer’s Financial Services Guide, are also available.

Please ensure that updated brochures are in place, and that all previous stationery is removed from display, as soon as possible.

Terri Scheer encourages you to dispose of outdated materials thoughtfully by recycling printed items.

Reappointment of all Terri Scheer distributors

Authorised Terri Scheer landlord insurance distributors will have received a re-appointment letter from us. All real estate agents appointed as distributors, and sub-appointees in their businesses, will be required to accept an updated agreement to confirm their re-appointment.

This can be completed via a simple process when you next log in to the Terri Scheer Connect portal.

If you or your employees need any assistance, please contact Customer Service via email on customerservice@terrischeer.com.au.

For further information, call 1800 804 016.


Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Terri Scheer. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance and consider whether it is right for you. Contact Terri Scheer on 1800 804 016 or visit our website at www.terrischeer.com.au for a copy. The Target Market Determination is also available.

The information is intended to be of a general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries. This article has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

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