By Sarah Barton, Terri Scheer Distribution Channel Manager As spring approaches, Australia’s real estate industry…
By Sarah Barton, Terri Scheer Distribution Channel Manager
While Australian summers are often filled with BBQs and days at the beach, they can also bring sweltering temperatures and fire risk.
It’s important that landlords prepare their rental property to ensure the hot summer season doesn’t take its toll on their tenants or property.
With this in mind, there are a number of tasks that property managers can encourage their landlords to address now in order to keep properties safe and enjoyable for tenants while minimising the risk of damage.
Fire hazards are a real risk for people living right across our hot, and in many parts dry, country. Spot fires can ignite spontaneously under the harsh Australian sun and bushfires aren’t contained only to rural and regional areas.
Landlords in all parts of the country should ensure gutters and drain pipes are cleaned prior to summer, potential fuel sources such as piles of wood or debris are cleared from yards or sheds, overhanging branches cut down and lawns kept mown to less than 10 centimetres.
It’s also an important time to test the smoke alarms in properties to ensure they are in working order and can alert tenants to smoke in an emergency.
Landlords should consider bringing in the professionals for a full air-conditioning service prior to the arrival of scorching weather. Filters can collect dust when inactive over the cooler months, which pose a risk of catching fire. An effective and efficient air-conditioner, will help tenants have an enjoyable rental experience.
If a swimming pool is part of the rental property, landlords must ensure that adequate swimming pool fencing is installed. Insufficient or non-existent pool fencing is more common than people realise, is extremely dangerous and can quickly lead to injury or loss of life. While landlords have liability obligations at all times of the year, the hot weather often means more guests visiting for BBQs and pool parties who may be unfamiliar with the surrounds. Pool fences must meet building standards and pool safety laws.
Ongoing maintenance is important year-round. If an investment property is almost due for a routine inspection, landlords may consider bringing the date forward and conducting it before the peak of summer. This will help to identify and action any issues before they can escalate.
Summer is a busy period and even the best tenant can accidentally damage their rental property.
The hot conditions also increase the risk of natural hazards, such as fires, and damage to properties.
Investment property owners should check their landlord insurance policy before summer arrives, and seek professional advice to ensure they have the appropriate coverage.
Landlord insurance is designed to help protect investors from many of the risks associated with owning a rental property, including damage by tenants, legal liability and loss of rental income.
Many property managers want to ensure their landlords have good insurance policies in place as it can simplify their job down the track should the landlord need to make a claim.
However, property managers should check their authority to distribute or refer before dealing in insurance.
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.
 A distributor is able to deal in insurance on behalf of their property owner. This enables the distributor to speak with the insurer, place cover, amend cover and cancel a policy. Property management businesses can become distributors with Terri Scheer. For property managers who are not distributors they can still inform their property owner of the existence of landlord insurance in the form of a brochure. The property owner must complete and sign the application form and send it directly to us by email. Alternatively, they can apply online through the Terri Scheer website.