It’s evident that routine inspections are vital to maintaining a successful tenancy and ensuring the protection of your investment property.
But are your current property managers really conducting these routine inspections? And are they really all that important?
At 360 Property Management, we have a stringent process for safeguarding your investment. This starts with screening and selecting appropriate tenants and conducting routine inspections in line with your insurance provider.
In the past, we’ve taken over portfolios for clients who’ve been left unsatisfied with the level of service provided by their previous Property Management company.
In one instance, a client approached us to manage their rental property after finding out that the previous property manager had not visited the property in over 9 months.
The landlord then visited the property and saw first-hand the significant damage that had occurred. Over the nine-month period, this damage had progressively worsened. The damage included significant water damage caused by a leaky roof.
If the property inspections had been carried out at a frequency that was in line with the agreement and the landlord’s insurance policy (every 13 weeks), the damage is likely to have been discovered earlier and the consequences could have been mitigated.
Conducting Property Inspections in line with your insurance policy.
Every insurance provider is different and will have its own set of requirements that you must meet to maintain coverage. As a general rule, the industry standard is to conduct a property inspection every 13 weeks. We recommend that landlords speak directly with their insurance providers about the requirements of their insurance policy.
Discovering new damage with routine inspections.
Tenants are obligated to inform their landlord/property manager of any damage to the property as soon as possible. This must be done regardless of how the damage occurred or who is responsible.
If tenants fail to notify their landlord within a reasonable timeframe, the landlord may be able to claim a portion of the repair costs from the tenants.
Not only is it important to discover damage quickly from an insurance standpoint, but it also decreases the risk to your property. Issues that are discovered and managed swiftly, are less likely to develop into major problems with extensive implications for the condition of your investment property.
Property inspections to discover gradual damage.
The leading culprit of gradual damage tends to be water damage which can be difficult to predict.
Let’s say, a pipe under the upstairs bathroom has been leaking for months, but this leak was not visible. One day, the tenant notices water strains and bulging in the ceiling below. This is a prime example of gradual damage.
If the leak had been discovered at an early stage by the tenant or the property manager through a routine inspection, the damage would have been much less severe and the remedial work would have been much less extensive
Furthermore, gradual damage is often excluded from insurance policies. A general rule of thumb is that insurance claims must be sudden and unforeseen.
If a pipe fitting has corroded causing the pipe to burst suddenly and flood the property, the pipe would likely not be covered as it was gradual. However, the damage caused by the sudden flood likely would be.
Alternatively, if your rental property’s roof is damaged in a storm and develops a leak, the storm damage to the roof would likely be covered by your insurance. However, if the issue is not remedied quickly, and the leaking roof leads to further damage to the timber framing, the framing would not be covered.
Water leaks are often the main concern for property managers when conducting a routine inspection. This type of damage is often times difficult to predict at an early stage. If left unresolved, water leaks can cause extensive damage to the property requiring significant repairs – and may even lead to a period of vacancy, meaning a loss of rental income for the landlord.
While tenants do have a responsibility to report any damages to the property, it is best to have a property expert on your team who is highly skilled at locating these issues before they develop into extensive problems.
At 360, you can trust that your asset is in the best hands with property managers who take on a proactive approach. If you would like to know more about our services and the 360 value, please contact us today – we’d love to help.
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