Property investment is one of the best and most popular ways to create wealth, however that success depends on more than just property selection and location.
Protect Your Investment Property Garden Maintenance Tips! You, the landlord, have various responsibilities which must be upheld throughout the residential tenancy. Australia has state-specific legislation which protects landlord rights as well as the tenant’s. It is vital that landlords understand what their responsibilities are as investment property owners, especially when legislation is often amended, as Landlords are obligated to abide by state law.
To help landlords better understand their tenant’s responsibilities as well as their own landlord rights when it comes to garden and yard maintenance – see our tips below.
When leasing a property in Australia, the onus is on owners to make sure the property meets the standards of their State’s Tenancies Act and properties should be habitable and in good condition. The best times to schedule maintenance are:
If a drain or gutter becomes blocked due to fair wear and tear (e.g. tree roots), it is usually the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the property to a safe and habitable standard.
If it was caused by something the tenant has done, the may have to cover the costs to repair the issue and any subsequent damage.
If mould has been caused by a leaking roof, as a result of a block roof gutter or drain, the owner should address the drainage issues for the property. This might include regular gutter cleaning, installation of gutter guard mesh to prevent leaves and debris from entering the gutter or roof drain, etc.
The landlord will usually also be responsible for having the roof leak repaired and any mould cleaned and removed. However, we would recommend that tenants address this as quickly as possible to ensure that bacteria doesn’t spread (via air condition, ventilation, heating, etc).
Often mould can build up in damp areas such as the laundry and bathroom, and it is the landlords responsibility to ensure there is adequate ventilation sources in these areas. However it is the tenants responsbility to ensure that they effectively use these ventilation options provided (eg. turn on exhaust fans when in the shower, or when using a dryer). If a dryer needs to be vented to the outside, the tenant should ensure this is completed and the landlord should ensure they provide consent to have this completed. The cost to do this is generally negotiable – the other option is to encourage or supply an condenser dryer or heat pump dryer instead.
The property should be in a clean and safe state when the lease is signed, so look for signs of pest droppings and mention these in the property condition report that is completed at the start of a tenancy. Who pays for pest control depends on when the infestation occurred. If pests move in because of a tenant’s uncleanliness, usually the tenant should pay.
Pests such as rats and mice can rapidly do damage to properties, even if they are relatively new. Downlights, electric cables, newer plastic plumbing pipes, etc can all be fodder for rodents. It is important to eradicate them swiftly and to ensure routine follow up, especially if they are taking up tenancy in nearby properties and repeatedly invade your investment property.
It is also worthwhile to check if the previous tenants had cats or dogs, as fleas eggs can remain in the carpet (and even the garden) and may not appear for several months in noticeable volumes. In most Australian states, the landlord will be responsible for removing and treating possums, termites, spiders and birds.
Usually tenants are responsible for garden maintenance, but this should be specified in the tenancy agreement. Check who is responsible for any plants, hedges or lawns that might need specialist upkeep. The state of lawns and gardens should be included on the property condition report and maintained to the same standard by the tenant, allowing for fair wear and tear.
Tenancy laws can differ in each state, so it is always recommended to check your local Residential Tenancies Act legislation.
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