11. June 2012 10:19
A freak storm doesn’t happen that often, but it can take weeks to recover from one. With winter’s wild weather well and truly here, we thought we’d remind you what your responsibilities as a property owner would be if a storm causes damage to your property.
- If a property is damaged to the point that it is unlivable, a tenancy can be ended. This can be carried out by either the tenant or landlord, but must be done legally (i.e. by completing a notice of intention to immediately end the lease).
- It’s within your tenant’s rights to negotiate a rent reduction when the premise has been partly damaged in a natural disaster. Both parties must negotiate the exact details.
- It’s important to quickly establish what damage has been caused by the natural disaster. Liaise with your tenants (through your property manager) to make a list of areas that have been affected.
- Any damage to the property must be promptly taken care of. Life-threatening damage should be fixed immediately, while less serious damage needs to be fixed within 14 days.
- One of the most important things you need to do is check your insurance coverage. It’s vitally important that anyone who owns a property knows, and fully understands, the details of their policy. Recent reports have shown that many insurance policies don’t cover flooding as standard, yet they will cover water damage caused by storms. The terminology used can be tricky, so it’s best to get some clarification about what is and isn’t covered.
10. May 2012 16:54
Strong winds and storms can cause all kinds of headaches for property owners and tenants. We’d like to give you an idea of what we do when we get a call from a tenant telling us there’s been some damage to your home. While all situations are different, the procedure remains basically the same.
Here’s what happens:
- Your tenant will contact us about the damage.
- Your Property Manager will contact the appropriate maintenance company and ask them to fix anything that needs urgent repairs. They’ll also call you to advise you of the situation.
- During this phone call, we’ll confirm your insurance details. We’ll also ask you for written authority to deal with the claim.
- Your Property Manager will contact your insurer and advise that a claim is pending.
- The maintenance company will go ahead and make the necessary temporary repairs and quote to repair or replace any other damage.
- Your Property Manager will send your insurer a quote. We’ll advise you when this is done.
- Once the quote has been approved, your insurer will get in touch with the maintenance company directly.
- Repairs will be carried out.
- The maintenance company will send an invoice straight to your insurer for payment.
Simple, right? The most important thing to remember is to keep your insurance cover up to date. If you’re not sure what your policy covers, be sure to check it now.