Under the Act lessors have clear responsibilities both at the beginning and throughout tenancies to present and maintain properties in an acceptable condition.
Properties in poor condition, with outstanding maintenance and no ongoing improvements are poor investments.
Maintaining your rental property increases its economic life, maintains and increases the rental yield and ensures a steady flow of good quality tenants.
Wear and tear in a rental property is unavoidable and prudent landlords should always budget for ongoing planned maintenance.
Benefits of Good Maintenance
- fixing problems at an early stage thereby avoiding very costly restoration costs (commonly outside normal business hours)
- ensuring the safety of the tenants and any visitors to the property
- maintaining the functionality of items within the property e.g. keeping air conditioners in good working order-thereby keeping tenants comfortable and happy
- maintaining the value of the property
- enabling consistent rental increases and thereby increasing the return on the investment
There are four main approaches to maintenance:
- Carry out regular preventive maintenance, such as conducting regular termite inspections,plumbing and electrical audits.
- Carry out repairs as they are needed. This prevents small problems from turning into large expensive problems, such as leaving gutters blocked which can cause water damage in many parts of the property.
- Plan ahead for major maintenance tasks such as repainting your rental property or replacing carpets.
- Be prepared for emergencies.It’s the nature of rental properties that things can and do sometimes go wrong.
Everything that keeps your rental property liveable and structurally sound needs to be maintained-from foundations to roofing and plumbing and electricity supply to name a few.
Some items you need to attend to as a landlord:
- ensure pool fence compliance
- ensure smoke alarm compliance
- ensure safety switch compliance
- conduct at least annually a termite inspection of the structure and surrounds and act on any advice given
- conduct at least annually a building inspection and act on any advice given
- conduct at least annually a plumbing audit to all internal/external taps/hot water system etc and to ensure all plumbing is in good working order-prevents costly call out fees
- conduct at least annually an electrical audit to all light switches/power points/stoves etc to ensure the safety of all tenants and to prevent costly call out fees
- paint internally every 5 to 7 years
- clean gutters regularly and instal gutter guard
- maintain fences and other outdoor improvements
- instal exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms
- put door stoppers behind all doors to prevent damage to walls
- regrout tiles in bathrooms and kitchens every 3-4 years
- replace carpets every 7-8 years
- replace window coverings every 5-6 years
- rejuvenate kitchens every 5-6 years
- replace stoves/ovens as required
- continually upgrade security-personal and family safety is a huge issue for tenants
- keep gardens basic and easy to maintain
- remove trees that cause mess or potential safety risks
- pressure wash pathways/driveways at least annually
- pressure wash structure to maintain appearance and extend life of paint/remove nests etc
ATTEND TO MAINTENANCE REQUESTS PROMPTLY
Well maintained rental properties attract higher yields, better tenants and at the very least maintain the capital value of the property.