While we’re pretty lucky to don thongs, enjoy a barbeque at the beach and let the day easily turn to night over the holiday period, summertime in Australia can often cop the extremities of weather cycles, from heat waves to torrential rain to bushfires.
It’s normal to expect at least a few high alert conditions over the coming months and while we can’t control the weather, we can take steps to ensure our properties are protected as best possible.
It’s easy (and let’s face it, convenient) to let insurance policies roll over, however it is beneficial to take the time to review what is and isn’t covered at your property.
Companies do change terms and conditions regularly so ensure you’re up to date with what your current policy covers. While it may be the last thing you feel like doing this time of year, you may thank yourself later.
There are also practical things you can do to help prepare your property for storms and bushfires, some of which may fall to the responsibility of your current tenant in terms of the upkeep of your property, in which case your property manager will monitor through regular property inspections.
A few tips to keep your property in top shape:
- Maintenance: Keeping on top of maintenance requirements of the property will ensure damages are rectified and the integrity of the property remains intact. External property maintenance, such as roofing/gutters are of particular importance this time of year. Gutters and downpipes should be kept clear of blockages, and rotting timber, rust-affected or loose fittings should be fixed.
- Accessibility: Access to the property should not be obstructed, this is particularly important should emergency vehicles need to access the property.
- Smoke Alarms: State and Territory regulations are clear on requirements for property owner’s obligation to have up to date and working smoke alarms.
- If your property has a yard, keeping it clear of debris is important. Adequate storage will help achieve this however it will be the responsibility of tenants to ensure items are safe during a storm.
- Ensuring the property is well-ventilated is not only important for the comfort of tenants, but also reduces the potential for mould and/or pest infestation. Doors and windows should shut and seal properly.
It can be helpful for tenants, particularly those who may be new to the region and not familiar with the climate and potential weather systems, to know where and who to contact if needed.
By ensuring your property’s maintenance is addressed and insurances are up to date, and with the help of your property manager to have tenants keep the property in good condition, your investment will stand strong this summer.