Is Your Investment Property Ready For Winter?

Is Your Investment Property Ready For Winter?

With winter upon us it is a good time to assess your investment property for any potential maintenance issues, hazards and liabilities to safeguard your property and finances.

Insurance: The first thing is to ensure your property insurance is up to date. It may be the time when heaters, fireplaces, electric blankets and the like are being used, all with the potential to cause a fire hazard. House fires are more common in winter for this reason. This leads on to the subject of smoke detectors. 

Smoke Detectors: We recommend you have a reputable smoke alarm service provider in place on an annual subscription as they will attend promptly to any nuisance alarms and also ensure your property is compliant. 

Air Conditioning Services: The onset of winter is a good time to service your air conditioning system should you not have done so before summer. 

Fireplaces: You may want to consider having your chimney professionally cleaned, flues and dampers checked to ensure all is operating as it should for both the comfort of the occupants and to also lessen any likelihood of malfunction and fire hazard.

Treat Mould:  A common cause of indoor house mould is humidity. As we begin to close our houses up, moist human breath, lack of ventilation, condensation and of course wet weather we have been  experiencing a lot of, creates the perfect environment for mould growth. We recommend professional treatments where tenants have tried to keep on top of it without success or raise any health concerns. Of course, any water ingress issues with roofs, windows, etc must be seen to by tradesmen. The exterior of homes where there may be moss buildup should be power washed periodically to prevent slipping liabilities. 

Roof and gutter maintenance: One of the most common household maintenance issues in both summer and winter are blocked gutters and downpipes. These issues can cause damage to your property including leaking, rotting, rising damp, water damage and mould. 

Window and door maintenance: Unfortunately, cold drafts may highlight some drafty areas.  Tenants may raise with your property manager the need to have ill-fitting, ill-closing windows and doors be attended to.  All windows and doors must be kept in a lockable state and the requirement to keep the warmth in may highlight this and result in repair requests.

Hot water systems: As we begin to enjoy hotter, longer showers, the exterior cold weather may cause the metal hot water cylinder to contract causing a leak to burst. If your hot water system is aging, it may be an excellent idea to have a licensed plumber inspect the state of your hot water system and quote for replacement before it becomes an urgent replacement issue and possibly avoid after hours callouts. Nobody wants to be without a hot shower in winter!

Winter garden pruning: Winter may be a good time to assess whether your property would benefit from a good tree prune or dead limb cutback. Tenants are usually responsible for normal garden maintenance, however this does not include any type of works that require specialist tools or ladders. Arborists are recommended for tree branch removal to ensure the safety of your property. A good cutback can help with allowing sunlight in to warm areas and also ready your property for the spring storm season before any falling limbs become an urgent safety concern. 

We are fortunate here in Queensland to, in the most part, not have to endure extremely cold temperatures. However the differences in the warmer weather and often sudden onset of the cold can cause some maintenance issues. Staggered maintenance plan over the coming couple of months may lessen the impact on your rental income. It is also a good idea to build up a maintenance budget in your personal accounts incase you do encounter unexpected urgent maintenance such as a burst hot water system which as mentioned does seem to occur with the onset of cold weather. 

Speak with your knowledgeable property manager to advise on a winter maintenance plan to suit you and your property’s requirements to ensure the best care is taken for your investment.

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