Whether you’ve just purchased your first investment property or if you’re juggling multiple rentals, as with many things in life, the unexpected can and will happen.
For peace of mind – and to save you time and money – it pays to be prepared and plan ahead to protect your rental property.
There’s no time like the present to get sorted: Here are five things you can do to protect your place.
1. Good communication
From covering all details about your property in your tenancy agreement to regular inspections and returning calls swiftly, good communication is the key to a happy relationship between owners and tenants. This also equals a happy home.
Communication doesn’t have to be frequent, but if a tenant contacts you about a repair, you don’t ignore it.
It’s all very basic stuff but the reality is, if communication breaks down between you and the tenant it can cost a lot of money if you end up in a tribunal.
Part of good communication is ensuring you carry out efficient and regular inspections.
When you do a routine inspection don’t just go there, do your inspection take your photos and leave it at that.
You could leave a little note to say thank you. The more respect you give to tenants, the better your relationships will be. Then if an issue does come up and you already have a good relationship, you’re off to a great start to resolve it.
2. Adequate cover
Having your property covered with landlord’s insurance offers endless peace of mind to combat worries over tenants not paying rent, theft or damage to the property.
If something goes wrong, you want to know that you’re covered.
It is recommended you review the Product Disclosure Statement when choosing cover; to make sure it’s right for you.”
Some of the benefits of Landlord Insurance include cover for unauthorised alterations by the tenant; damage caused by the tenant’s pet; replacement of locks if your keys can’t be recovered from the tenant; the lawful removal of possessions left by a former tenant; lost rent; lost rent while your strata scheme rental property is being repaired; theft, fire, flood and storm surge and $20million liability.
3. Safety & security
To ensure the security of your property, as well as the safety of your tenants, you need to put measures in place to cover the bases.
At a minimum, think about quality locks on all doors and windows and consider sensor lighting to adequately light the home and deter unwanted visitors.
It’s also appropriate to have security screens or a security screen at the front door of property because they allow a tenant to ventilate a property while keeping it secure.
Window locks are important from a safety and security perspective as well.
4. Pet-friendly set up
Laws are now changing to make it easier for renters to keep pets, so now is the perfect time to ensure your place is fit for furry friends.
The landlord should make sure their Landlord Insurance policy has cover for any potential pet damage.
There are also things you can do inside the home to help promote a happy relationship between you, your tenants and their animals.
When you’re talking about pets, it’s best to opt for as little carpet as possible. You really want floorboards, tiles or other hardwearing surfaces that don’t scratch so easily.
5. Good home maintenance
Opt for good quality finishes in the home to begin with, along with regular maintenance and good repairs along the way when things need attention.
If you don’t invest in maintenance it can end up costing you more.
Equally tenants move out of properties that are not well maintained. That can be things like if the door handle doesn’t work, the towel rail has fallen off, or if the toilet seat is loose or whatever it is, it can show the owner doesn’t care about the property and could leave the tenant thinking, ‘Why should I care about it?’.
Doing preventative tasks regularly – such as having the gutters cleaned, garden maintenance and getting the pipes cleaned – is also key.
Try to schedule in these maintenance jobs booked every six months or so before an issue arises.