Eview Group

Winter weather and your rental property

As I sit here, looking out my lounge room window, I see nothing but blue skies and sunshine. However, this kind of weather won’t last as we make our way into the depths of winter. Before we know it, there’ll be regular dark grey skies and howling wind, with the inevitable possibility of property damage. Whilst we’re still experiencing hints of sunshine and good weather, now is the perfect time to  confirm your investments are well insured.

Whether you own a rental property in the cyclone-prone areas of north Australia, the high-wind and storm areas of Victoria, or potential bushfire areas around the country, here’s a checklist for landlords when it comes to natural disasters.

Insurance

Every landlord should have insurance which covers damage to their property from the threat of natural disasters, and also include loss of income should your property become unlivable in the wake of an event.

As a landlord it’s also imperative you understand the fine print of your insurance policy to make sure it’s likely to cover events which are more prevalent in the region where your property is located.

For example, in North Queensland, fire, cyclone and flood cover are a must, while elsewhere cyclone cover may not be so relevant.

Do check the details of your policy, especially when it comes to clauses like flood coverage.

General maintenance

In addition to insuring your property against potential natural disaster damage, there are also a host of simple steps property owners can take to mitigate any disaster impact. And many of these come down to simple maintenance.

For example, you should organise with your property manager that gutters are cleaned once or even twice a year. This reduces the threat of bushfire ember attack. In heavy rainfall areas this also helps safeguard a home from water damage and overflow.

Trees should be trimmed and cut back from the house. Not only does this reduce bushfire risk, it also minimises the chance of storm damage from falling trees and branches, and even removes a potential path for termites to enter a property.

Meanwhile, on acreage properties, keeping the lawn short around the home is imperative.

If slashing and lawnmowing is likely to be too much of an impost for a tenant on an acreage property, incorporate gardening and lawn maintenance into the lease.

Make things easy

As well as maintaining your property to help minimise the impacts of natural disaster you can also invest in equipment or fixtures that reduce the risk.

These can range from rooftop sprinklers and water pumps or hoses in bushfire prone areas to shade sails that can be quickly dropped in cyclone regions.

The final word

Preparing your rental property for a natural disaster is about considering the risk and mitigating it. That means assessing which issues could affect your property and implementing simple strategies and maintenance to reduce the likelihood of a natural disaster impacting your investment.

At Eview Group our expert property managers work with you to protect your investment. To locate your closest Eview property manager, visit www.eview.com.au.