Last week I was greeted with the horrific news that one of the properties our office manages was on-fire and the fire brigade and police were in attendance.
Ripping across town my immediate thoughts, as you would expect, were with the lives of the tenants and their pets.
I was relived when I arrived to discover the tenants were not home, their pets were safe and no one was hurt.
It was a steep learning curve. I have never dealt with a fire of this magnitude and the lessons over the last week have been many.
The biggest reminder was obviously the importance of insurance, regular maintenance and smoke alarm monitoring.
This property had been regularly serviced and it was the smoke alarms that alerted the neighbours to the drama. There was no outstanding maintenance and the owner had adequate insurance.
But here are the two lessons. Unfortunately the tenant didn’t have contents insurance and in these circumstances the owner has to cover the expenses in relation to the building and the tenant has to protect their contents. It is essential that owners and tenants have adequate insurance.
It is also a good reminder about another thing that is the tenant’s responsibility during a lease – which could end p being very costly.
Many tenants are surprised to know that unreported maintenance can became a cost borne by the tenant.
For example, if you notice a leak and don’t report it and the leak causes more damage which could have been avoided, then the tenant could be liable for the costs.
My top 3 tips for tenants to ensure maximum protection during a lease are:
· Complete your entry report within 3 days of receiving it noting any discrepancies. Ensure you get an acknowledgment that you returned it in time
· Get contents insurance
· Report all maintenance items
To read the entire article, please follow the link below