Is Your Investment Property Winter Proof?

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When it comes to your investment property, never underestimate the value of ongoing maintenance; you want to maximise your investment’s potential by keeping it in top condition.

The winter months can be harsh on properties – the Hunter Region’s wild weather and the colder temperatures can cause damage. While it may be possible to claim on your insurance for repairs, it may affect your insurance premiums later down the line. Plus, extensive repairs are inconvenient to tenants, who may ask for compensation for their patience.

Here are some simple top tips to make sure your investment is ready for the winter.

Excluding the Drafts

A well-insulated property is more attractive for tenants as it will keep their power bills lower, so try to make your property as energy efficient as possible. Check the insulation, install draft excluders and use stripping window sash and frames. Energy Australia also advices gaps around window edges can be sealed with caulk – a waterproof filler that is available from general hardware stores.

Check Your Gutters and Downpipes

While clearing gutters is important for fire safety reasons in the summer, they need to be kept clear in the winter months when we have heavy rainfall. The same goes for downpipes. Check they are clear and running into the appropriate drainage. You don’t want water flowing into or under your investment causing damage which could be costly to rectify.

Falling Foliage

We all love our trees in the summer as they provide us much needed shade, but the wild winter weather can turn them into a hazard; as well as damaging your property, falling or swaying branches may injure your tenants. Cut back branches that are close to your house, but keep yourself safe – you may need to consider employing a professional tree surgeon to cut back some of the larger branches.

Service the Systems

Now is a timely reminder to have the hot water and heating system serviced. A good hot water specialist will check for corrosion, assess the condition of the anode rod and filters, measure water pressure and if necessary flush the system out to remove debris. A well-maintained heating system will also be more efficient, last longer and reduce energy costs. You don’t want a tenant without hot water or heating over winter.

Ventilation

While you want to keep the property draft free, you also need to make sure it’s properly ventilated to avoid mould building up. The bathroom and laundry are particularly susceptible to mould in winter because they are warm and humid. While doors and windows can easily be opened, tenants don’t always do so, so the best way to ensure ventilation in these areas is to install an exhaust fan.

Use a Property Manager

Yes, we know we’re biased, but by using a property manager, your property will be regularly inspected and any maintenance issues will quickly be picked up and addressed before they become a major expense. The cost of a property manager can be used as a tax benefit – so you not only get peace of mind your property is being cared for, but you may also get some savings in your back pocket too!

A bit of preparation and maintenance now can save you a lot of stress, hassle and money in the future. What’s more, any money you spend on maintenance may be used as a tax benefit.

If you would like to know more about our property management services, or property investment generally, give us a call on 02 4956 9777 or pop into our office and our experienced team will be happy to help out.