Readying your rental for summer
Daylight savings, that extra touch of warmth in the sun…they’re both key signs the sweet days of summer are just around the corner.
But, as much as we love a long, lazy Australian summer, in many parts of the country it also comes with an increased risk of natural disaster, making now the time for rental owners to turn their attention to protecting their property against the unexpected.
What sort of things do we mean? Well, here’s a quick guide of things you might like to consider when it comes to readying your rental for summer.
The natural disaster reality
Take a quick flick through the pages of history and you’ll note summer is a prime time for natural disasters in Australia.
Just a couple of years ago there was the horrendous black summer of bushfires, while summer 2011 saw much of Brisbane and its surrounds enduring flooding.
Up in the north of the nation, summer means cyclone season is underway, and down south there’s an increased likelihood of storms as those southerly busters come rolling through Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne.
All in all, summer offers a cauldron of natural events that can be hard to predict. That said, it’s also possible to be prepared in order to protect your financial asset.
Preparation is key
Often preparation for one natural disaster overlaps the type of preparation you would make for another. For example, trimming trees around a property helps mitigate the risk of bushfire, and also helps prevent damage in a cyclone or storm.
It’s the same with things like gutter cleaning. Removing leaf litter reduces the likelihood of ember attack in a bushfire, but also reduces the chance that gutters will back up and overflow during heavy rainfall.
So, as you ready your rental for summer, here are the top preventive measures and preparation tips we suggest…
Regardless of what part of Australia your rental property is in, if it’s a freestanding home, an annual gutter clean is a must.
This clean removes the build-up of leaf litter, and as we mentioned, that helps reduce the risk of flooding and fire.
In the meantime, annual gutter cleans also lengthen the lifespan of your property’s roof and gutter system. Gutters that are clogged can fail under the weight of even just a light rainfall.
The lead-up to summer offers the perfect opportunity to have those gardens and trees trimmed back in advance of the prime growing season.
Again, we’d suggest this should be done on an annual basis, and perhaps more often if the property is surrounded by trees.
The aim here is to reduce trees and branches that have the potential to cause damage in a storm, or might pose a bushfire risk due to their proximity to your property.
If your property has shade sails or structures like patios and awnings, now’s the time to ensure they are in good, strong condition and there’s a contingency plan in place for storms or perhaps cyclones.
For example, if your property is in northern Australia and a cyclone is pending, it’s best if those shade sails are taken down in advance of the weather event.
It might also be worth considering, does you investment property require emergency infrastructure? For example, if your property is rural residential and located in an area prone to bushfires, is there a high-flow hose at the property, or perhaps a sprinkler system on the roof?
You might also want to talk to your property manager about the precautions that rental occupiers would be expected to take in the case of a natural disaster.
This is not related to disaster preparation, but is something to keep in mind as the weather warms up. Now is the time to have your property’s air-conditioners serviced and cleaned so they’re up to the task of cooling the home’s occupants over summer.
This final tip is particularly important…double check your insurance. Make sure it’s current, the property information is up-to-date, and your policy covers you for the type of natural disasters that could affect your rental property.
Also ensure this coverage extends to lost income should damage to the rental property mean the rental occupiers need to move out while repairs are made.
How we can help
Our experienced property managers pride themselves on establishing great relationships with both rental occupiers and owners.
We manage every property as if it were our own and you can learn more about our property management services here.
Alternatively, if you are looking to rent a property, you can view the properties we currently have available here.