We manage a large number of properties around the Brisbane region. So, when announcements start getting sent out about severe weather patterns property managers start strapping on the head gear, getting the high vis out and bracing for impact.
Many of our colleagues around the state, especially in north Queensland, have been inundated by calls of damage but in the inner city Brisbane region we faired quite well.
The main areas of damage have occurred in flood prone areas or with properties that had pre-existing roofing issues.
It is however a timely reminder for investors of the importance of insurance and addressing maintenance requests as quickly as possible.
Insurance premiums that include flooding have spiked since the 2011 floods. Adding a flood cover to your policy can add thousands of dollars to your premium, so the question is often asked “do I need it?”.
The large majority of the contents will be the tenants responsibility and fall under their contents insurance, which means even in times of flooding you may not need to claim.
So its not always necessary. But it is insurance and when you need it you tend to really, really need it.
Our advice to clients relates to ‘return on investment’, how much will it cost and can you afford to cover it if the worst happens?
The answer to those questions holds the answer.
Planning for these emergency situations will ensure that when disaster strikes you and your property are as protected as possible.
However, where costs can shift from tenant to landlords are in those situations where there are pre-existing requests for maintenance about leaking rooves or where blocked drains have gone unanswered.
This can potentially put landlords in the firing line if they haven’t acted on these requests and what would have been a tenants cost can now be passed on to the owner.
In this age of litigation and when consumer protection watchdogs are at their most alert it is essential landlords are up to date with their responsibilities. Maintenance must be kept up to date and there is now even more compliance certification needed.
There is a lot of bottle neck legislation that pushes compliance onto landlords. Currently it’s a landlords responsibility to ensure safety switches are complaint, smokes alarms are checked and serviced as well as pool fences all certified to current state compliance laws. Checking these items has now created an entire industry of compliance services businesses and there will be more checks to come.
Owning an investment property does come at a cost and providing shelter similarly comes with a responsibility. Every property investor should be allocating a portion of their annual budget for prevention maintenance, reactive maintenance, insurance and compliance.
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