Question: What can be done to ensure my investment property is best prepared for the holiday season?

Answer: By Carolyn Parrella, Executive Manager, Terri Scheer Insurance

With the summer holidays now upon us, ‘tis the season to be safe not sorry.

It’s important that landlords look after their tenants but also ensure the holiday season doesn’t take its toll on their rental property.

The following tips can help landlords ensure their tenant stays safe and comfortable and that their property is ready for the rigors of a long, hot summer.

• Check locks and smoke alarms
Check the locks on doors, windows and sheds in the lead-up to the holiday season to ensure they’re in good working order.

Theft and damage to investment properties can be more common over December and January, often when tenants go away for holidays, so it is important that preventative measures are taken.
Landlords are encouraged to also test the smoke alarms in their properties, to ensure they are not faulty and are not at risk of a legal liability law suit if the alarm does not work during an emergency.

• Service / maintain air conditioning
With another long, hot summer looming, it is a good idea for landlords to service the air conditioning units so that it works to the best of its capability.
The cost of servicing the unit can be substantially less than repairing or replacing the unit if it breaks down.

Servicing ducted air conditioning systems is especially important, as they may need to be manually switched over from heating to cool and have the vent re-opened on the roof.

An efficient air conditioning system can go a long way to maintaining a strong relationship between a landlord and their tenant. No one wants to be caught without cooling on a hot summer day.

• Address potential fire hazards

A routine check for fire hazards should be undertaken with any debris cleared away and disposed of appropriately.

This is particularly important for properties in regional or vegetation-dense areas. Key areas of concern are leaf-filled gutters, overhanging trees or branches and long grass.

It may also be worthwhile installing a fire extinguisher at the property as a further safeguard.

• Have landlord insurance

The end of the year is a good time to remind landlords to review their insurance policies, to ensure they have protection for some of the unforeseen circumstances.

Even the best tenant can accidentally damage a property or lose their job and be unable to afford the rental payments.

Landlord insurance is designed to help protect investors from many of the risks associated with owning a rental property, including malicious damage by tenants, accidental damage, legal liability and loss of rental income.

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Carolyn Parrella

Carolyn Parrella joined Australia's leading landlord insurance specialists, Terri Scheer Insurance, in 2004 and was appointed Executive Manager in 2009.
 
Carolyn oversees all operations within business, which aims to protect landlords against the risks associated with owning a rental property. These include malicious damage by tenants, accidental damage, legal liability for occurrences on the property that cause death or bodily injury, and loss of rental income as a result of damage to a property or a tenant absconding.
 
As a South-Australian based national insurance firm, Terri Scheer Insurance is the only company in Australia to specialise solely in landlord insurance.
 
Carolyn also owns two investment properties.

For further information, visit www.terrischeer.com.au or call 1800 804 016.