Did you realise that most of the specific risks associated with having a rental property are not covered under a standard home and contents policy? The way to combat this is to have a specific landlord insurance policy which directly caters for the hazards associated with rental properties.When shopping for policies, make sure you run through the checklist below.1.  Ensure that all the common landlord risks are covered – intentional damage, theft, loss of rent, liability including claims against you, legal expenses in taking action against a tenant. 2.  Do you rent a fully or partially furnished property? In that case you will need to look for a policy that covers the content of the home as well as the standard list above. 3.  Talk to your Property Manager – while they aren’t allowed to specifically recommend a insurance company, they know the pitfalls. 4.  Read the small print carefully – some policies only allow you to claim if your tenant is on a fixed term lease, which is not always the case.Industry commentator Emily Sim says: “For me the best policies are the ones that cover the landlord for the most amount of lost rent for the broadest range of reasons regardless of periodic or fixed term.” Your Property Manager has the experience and knowledge to be able to help you in worst case situations of damage and rent default, but only if you have a reliable policy that covers you. Don’t take the risk.Although everyone understands that repairs and maintenance are a part of every tenancy relationship, why is it that all parties invariably have different expectations? Here are some tips for keeping on top of maintenance issues before they occur.Scheduled Maintenance. Consider what work can be done to the property that would lift the value and be attractive rather than inconvenient to a tenant. Think garden maintenance, lawn mowing, external painting or the clearing of gutters before the rainy season.Maintenance. Prepare in advance for the unexpected by working out a maintenance expenditure limit for your property manager you are comfortable with. By accepting what you are prepared to spend, you will get the work done rather than procrastinating about spending the money.Non Urgent repairs. Set a limit the agency can work with. This means the repair can be attended to without delay, making the process smooth and the tenant happy. Also, always ask for a report following the repair and obviously if the repair is going to exceed the amount you have set, have a contingency plan for quote approvals.Urgent repairs. Although unforeseen, any repair that falls into this category really needs to occur as fast as possible. This is a worst case scenario but it means we, and more importantly, your tenant, should always be aware of the plan of action in the case of urgent repairs. In our experience, the rate of compensation payable to a tenant who suffers a loss as a direct result of an unattended urgent repair is high. As a rule, you should allocate around 10% of the annual rental income to attending to emergency repairs.One thing we know about repairs and maintenance is that communication is one of the most important factors in keeping the property well looked after. It is our job to keep the tenant informed about who to contact and what they can expect, and in turn we are better equipped to protect your asset with a clear schedule of your budget and expectations in this area.

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About Mareeba Property Management

Real Estate Scribe, IT manager, Lighting Supremo, Farmer and general gofer.....
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