Mortgages, Money and Me

Winter condition – getting your investment property into shape

Looking for a tenant for your investment property? Thinking of selling? The lead-up to spring is great time to do repairs and maintenance. Here’s a short checklist.

A landlord has to provide a safe and livable property for tenants. The best time to do a thorough maintenance check is before new tenants move in: it’s cheaper than several small callouts and you can do repairs without disturbing people.

Known problems

If you’re in touch with the previous tenants, ask them if anything needs attention. It’s good to know what might cause issues in the near future.

Unknown problems

Visit the property and thoroughly check the following:

• Plumbing: Turn all taps on and off, flush toilets and watch water drain down each sink. Note any leaks or dripping; slow draining sinks or toilets indicate a blockage. Ensure the hot water system has been serviced.

• Gas and electrical: Turn all lights on and off, and test power points. Ensure appliances such as the stove, oven, heating and air-conditioning have been serviced.

• Structure: Check the interior and exterior for damage such as cracks in the walls, floor or ceiling, or broken roof tiles.

• Fixtures: Make sure ceiling fans, blinds and other fixtures are in working order.

Mould is a symptom of bad ventilation and/or poor waterproofing – it’s a health hazard that needs expert attention. Similarly, pests such as cockroaches, rats and wasps need professional treatment.

Hire certified professionals where possible. Their work has a warranty and you may be able to claim their services as a tax deduction.

Once you’ve ensured the property is up to scratch, schedule regular maintenance checks at the same time as tenant inspections to ensure everything remains in good condition.