Landlord Insurance – Why and Who?
All landlord insurances aren’t built the same. The banks offer their own policy, but while there are some good inclusions, it’s the exclusions that can really hurt you. The specialist landlord policies usually offer better inclusions. So what shoul d you watch out for?
The excess: Most claims for rent arrears equate to less than 1 month’s rent. Many specialist policies offer either free or $100 excess amounts, while banks have much higher excesses.
Damage from pets: While allowing pets gives you more opportunity for tenants, you want to make sure you’re adequately covered as it doesn’t take much for pet damage to ‘chew’ through the bond.
Sudden and unexpected impact: Whether it’s a falling tree, or a car colliding with the property, it’s best to be covered.
Accidental breakage: There are many instances where it’s difficult to prove who did what to a property, so accidental damage can save you hundreds.
Legal liability: It’s imperative that you have the most possible – we suggest $20 million. There’s many cases of accidents at properties where the tenant has successfully sued the owner.
It’s more important than ever to ensure that you’re as protected as possible.
Consumer ratings for Property Management – Get ready!
It’s inevitable that the property management industry will be affected by ratings systems that are offered and published for greater transparency and accountability. We welcome this change, as it will mean that the best quality landlords will have access to the best quality tenants and the best quality property managers.
What will landlords need to do to be rated highly? According to our research, tenants’ largest gripes are maintenance and repair turn-around times and we see this as the biggest opportunity for improvement. Landlords need to have a process in place to approve reasonable tenant requests quickly. Perhaps consider providing an authorised amount to approve legally required maintenance automatically for greater efficiency.
The exciting part is that consumer ratings is a two-way street. We expect that tenants will earn ratings for prompt rent payments, ease for access for your home and for how well they maintain your property.
Fair Wear and Tear
I’m sure you’ve heard your property manager say “We are required to allow the tenant fair wear and tear” before. This may appear as an excuse to let the tenant get away with damaging your property but there is a way for owners to prepare for this. Rental properties should have minor refurbishment every 7-10 years. This could mean paint, floor coverings and window furnishings.
This is a very normal cycle for an investment property. Put a little bit of money away each year so that when it gets to the stage where “fair wear and tear” is now well beyond acceptable, you now have the funds to freshen the property up, increase the rent and attract good quality tenants to your property.