Source :- Aon Insurance Company Published in REIWA News 6 March 2019
So, what can you do to ensure you’re protected against whatever risks might face you and your properties?
Protect against the common and emerging risks
There are a number of obvious things that landlords and property managers can do to reduce risks, like screening tenants, monitoring rent collections and ensuring that bonds are lodged correctly. But what’s often overlooked is the importance of keeping up-to-date by having good processes in place and being vigilant about record keeping.
We’ve compiled some helpful tips for both landlords and property managers:
1. Hold regular inspections
These are a vital step in any property management routine, as they allow you to identify any building defects or issues and organise for maintenance and repair of defects in a timely manner.
2. Document all inspections and maintenance (and provide copies to the landlord and tenant)
Record the outcomes of every inspection with a formal report such as an Entry (or Exit) Condition Report that contains detailed descriptions and supporting photographs. Similarly, document any routine property inspections and specify any maintenance and repairs that occur to the property.
3. Formalise any agreements in writing
If an issue or dispute arises, written documentation will be critical to support or negate a claim, so it pays to take the time to keep clear notes to document any discussions or agreements.
4. Try to document all correspondence via email
If verbal instructions are given, create a file note to clearly document the discussion and include the date and time for when it took place. Try to re-use words if possible.
5. Keep your property management staff up-to-date
If you manage a Property Management team, ensure that you provide induction for all new staff on agreements, policies and procedures, continually update them with any new changes and hold regular refresher training to reinforce adherence.
The final piece of the puzzle: insurance
Putting in place these strategies can help you to minimise risk, however unfortunately it’s hard to eliminate risks all together. Mistakes are a fact of life, and as we’ve seen with the Opal Tower, it’s impossible to protect your rental property against every possible scenario.
That’s where landlord insurance can help; it can provide you with some cover for the common risks associated with your rental property – the final piece of the property management puzzle.