Property Management Newsletter - April 2018
Dealing with Damages: Accidental vs. Malicious
Unfortunately, many landlords will have to deal with damages occurring to their rental property at some stage. And not all insurance policies are created equal. We’ve seen landlords be disappointed by how little their chosen insurer will cover when they try to claim for damages caused to their rental. For a fully comprehensive landlord insurance policy, we would recommend EBM RentCover (www.rentcover.com.au) as they cover both malicious and accidental damage, as well as storm damage, loss of rent, legal expenses, and even specialised clean up in the unlikely event your rental is used as a drug lab.
MALICIOUS DAMAGE is covered by most insurers. However, many damages that would be found in a property would not be considered malicious. This type of damage is deliberate and motivated by spite and/or the intention of causing property damage. This would include graffiti, holes in the walls, doors knocked off their hinges or theft of fixtures or fittings. A police report is often required to claim for this type of damage
ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE is more common, but many insurers don't cover it. This could include spills on carpet, scratched floorboards, damage by pets, or broken windows, but can also include intentional but not malicious damage such as unapproved painting, putting picture hooks into walls, or making other alterations. Though deliberate, it cannot be proven that it was done with a malicious intention and is considered accidental.
WEAR AND TEAR occurs naturally over time simply because people reside in the property. Some walls may become scuffed, floorboards may lose their shine, fixtures such as carpet or appliances will age. Even the tidiest of tenants will cause some wear and tear on a property, so we always recommend to let any emotional attachment to your shiny new rental property go as it will age over time.
On a side note, it is also worth mentioning that not all tenants are as tidy as we’d like! Some tenants feel perfectly comfortable living in homes we would find cluttered, smelly, or just outright untidy! Our quarterly inspections do help prevent any cleanliness issues, though this can be a hard thing for some of us to understand. Note after each inspection, we do ‘rate’ our tenants on how well they keep the property and provide constructive feedback. For example, we may recommend a tenant get their carpets professionally cleaned to remove marks, or that they air out their home more regularly to prevent mould or odours, or ask that they thoroughly weed the garden. However, it is important to note that poor housekeeping is generally not covered by insurance.
· Warrazambil Street, Kyogle—3 bedroom home in leafy location, $290 per week
· Geneva Street, Kyogle—2 bedroom unit over 3 levels, $210 per week
· Summerland Way, Kyogle—2 bedroom unit in the main street, $190 per week
· Cob O Corn Road, Kyogle—rural 2 bedroom unit on shared property, $190 per week