Continuing our focus on maintenance at a rental property, it would have to be said this is one of the most contentious topics discussed with Consumer and Business Services advice line on a daily basis. This issue leads to many 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?
As previously mentioned, 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. This is why having a preventative maintenance schedule for these items will lessen the likelihood of them failing
Annual servicing of items such as:
- slow combustion heaters
- air-conditioning units
- watering systems
- garage doors
would be good practice for the landlord and may even increase the operational life of the appliance or equipment.
During routine inspections, it is critically important to be checking for signs of potential maintenance issues such as:
- leaks under sinks
- hinges on cupboards not working properly
- small details such as the installation of door stoppers (which could prevent possible damage to walls and/or fixtures)
- ensuring the grouting or silicon is kept in good order around sinks, hand basins, showers or baths (to prevent swelling of cabinets, benches and/or flooring)
- checking for stains on ceilings or on facia boards (this could be from blocked gutters or a crack in a roofing tile or the fact ridge capping has perished).
A tip is to have good open communications with the tenant. Ask them if there have been any issues at the property, as the tenant sometimes forgets to report something, or may think it’s not important enough to bother the landlord over.
To enable efficient upkeep of the rental property, tenants should implement a regular cleaning maintenance schedule for items such as:
- exhaust fans
- air conditioning filters/up vents
- watering and weeding of lawns and gardens.
In the end, if maintenance and repairs aren’t taken care of the property quality may go down which may cause the rent amount achieved on the property to go down as well.
Benjamin Franklin stated that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
A small repair now and/or preventative maintenance schedules will potentially prevent a costly repair in the future especially if the matter goes unfixed or unnoticed.
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.