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Who is maintaining your rental property?

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This is possibly one of the most contentious topics discussed with Consumer and Business Services advice line on a daily basis! It can lead to tenants and landlords appearing in front of the South Australian Civil Administrative Tribunal (SACAT). Failure to maintain a property can have consequences on both sides, so how can we prevent this from happening?

  • Both the landlord and tenant share responsibilities for repairs and maintenance (in different circumstances), but it all counts to the longevity of an item and/or maintaining the quality of the property.
  • Just as our cars require regular servicing, so do the domestic appliances or equipment at a rental property. Having a preventative maintenance schedule for each item will lessen the likelihood of them failing.
  • Annual servicing of items such as slow combustion heaters, air-conditioning units, watering systems and garage doors would be good practice for landlords and may increase the operational life of the item.

Routine inspections play a critical role when it comes to checking for smaller items such as leaks or hinges on cupboards.

  • Checking smaller items comes under preventative maintenance. For example,
    • installing door stoppers could prevent possible damage to walls.
    • Ensuring the grouting or silicon is kept in good order around sinks, hand basins, showers or baths can prevent swelling of cabinets, benches and/or flooring.
    • Looking out for stains on ceilings or on facia boards can indicate blocked gutters, a crack in a roofing tile or ridge capping that has perished.

Maintain open communications with tenants; ask if there have been any issues at the property (as tenants may forget to report matters or think it is not important enough to bother the landlord over).

A regular cleaning maintenance schedule by tenants (for items such as rangehoods, exhaust fans, air conditioning filters, watering and weeding of lawns and gardens) plays an important part in the overall maintenance upkeep of a rental property.

If maintenance and repairs are not attended to promptly the standard of the property may fall, which may cause the amount of rent that can be achievable to fall as well.

Benjamin Franklin once said: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

A small repair now – combined with preventative maintenance schedules – may prevent a costly repair in the future!

If you own an investment property and would like peace of mind, contact Lisa Akeroyd from Barossa Rental Specialists on 0414 335 660 to discuss your rental management strategy.

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