Whether your preparing to find a new tenant over the New Year, or have a long term tenant, it’s important to prepare your rental property for the Australian summer. Having a well-maintained property can increase your chances of attracting or retaining good tenants, and can save money in maintenance costs down the road.
As per the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, property managers are responsible for the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms. Before summer is a great time to change batteries in existing smoke alarms and make sure they are in working condition for the hotter months of the year.
It’s recommended you either send the current tenants a reminder to replace batteries and check that alarms are in working order, or replace them yourself (make sure you adhere to visitation regulations, and make sure to give sufficient notice).
Clean out the Gutters
With summer being fire season, preemptive measures can be made to minimise chance of fire. This is particularly important for properties in fire-prone areas. However, basic maintenance of gutters is highly recommended as not only does it reduce fire risk, but it also can reduce the possibility of water damage.
Check if the Property is Being Subleased
Many students will travel during the summer holidays, many of whom will try to sublet, often without asking permission. Although you aren’t allowed to withhold permission to sublet without good reason, it’s important to know who’s occupying your rental property.
Inspect you Air Conditioning Unit
A good aircon unit can be the difference between an unbearable and a chill summer. Tenants are sure to appreciate a powerful Aircon unit over the hot Australian summer.
After testing the unit, it’s worth inspecting the unit. First, start by changing the filter, which is normally located in the blower unit, where the unit meets the return duct. It’s cheap and easy to replace, but substantially more costly if the cooling coil freezes over.
Second, ensure the exterior condenser unit has room to breathe. It is recommended that the unit have at least .5m of clear space around the unit.
Clean out Dryer Vents
Clogged dryer vents account for a significant amount of fires each year, yet are often forgotten about. Take the opportunity to clean out the dryer vent of any lint, fabrics or debris to ensure peace of mind.
Landscaping, Landscaping, Landscaping
Summer is the time for enjoying being outside. If your rental property has a garden or any outdoor space, make sure to make the most of it. Adding tables and chairs to backyards or balconies can make being outside more inviting. Additionally, some basic landscaping can go a long way in making outdoor areas look more appealing.
Although a bigger task, ensuring that your rental property has decent insulation can save considerable amounts in energy bills over the summer months. If you plan on holding the rental property for some considerable time, this is an investment that is most likely worth making.