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Protecting rentals this summer

Protecting rentals this summer

30 Nov 2023 7 mins read

As the temperature heats up, so too do the chances of certain risks at a rental. From theft to fires, the summertime can be fraught. We’ve got a few tips to help you proactively manage some of the common risks. 

Summertime is when many landlords and their property managers want to be able to kick back a little and chill – not be called out to a rental property to attend to a problem that could have been avoided with a little proactive planning.  

Here we explore six summertime risks and offer some tips to help landlords and property managers address them. 

House fires 

Did you know the number of house fires spike in that critical period from December to February?  

  • Test smoke alarms during inspections. Be sure to check that batteries (either back-ups in wired systems or primary in battery-operated detectors) are replaced regularly. 

  • Consider supplying basic fire-fighting equipment at the rental – things like fire blankets and fire extinguishers.  

  • Remind tenants about festive season fire safety (like not hanging tealights on trees, keeping flammables away from candles, only using Christmas lights as they are intended and so on). 

  • Electrical appliances and faults cause almost 40 per cent of home fires. Ensure that any supplied appliances like ovens, stoves, cooktops, barbeques, and hot water heaters are working properly and regularly maintained. 

  • Remind tenants about the house fire risks posed by lithium ion batteries. And be sure that any appliances supplied for use at the property (such as a lawn mower) with this type of battery is in good order and instructions for charging have been provided to tenants. 

Summer storms 

Did you know that until the March 2022 floods ($6.76bn in insured losses), the 1999 Sydney hailstorm was the most expensive recent natural disaster in Australia’s history ($5.8bn)?   

  • Perform routine roof maintenance. 

  • Keep gutters, drains and downpipes clear of natural debris.  

  • Check fastenings, joints and bolts on structures including carports and patios to make sure they are secure and not rusted. 

  • Trim trees and overhanging branches. 

  • If the property has skylights, consider installing safety screens.  

  • Ensure structures that could take flight in heavy winds, like pergolas, fences, roofing iron and sheds, are soundly anchored. 

  • Check window seals and repair damaged windows and doors. 

  • Make sure any exterior structures that may be subject to storm damage are sound, such as patios and pergolas, outdoor steps and handrails, sheds, fences and decks. 


Did you know that fire services respond to between 45,000 and 60,000 bushfires in Australia each year?  

  • Do the firebreaks. 

  • Clean out the gutters and roof gullies. 

  • Mow the grass regularly. 

  • Prune trees that overhang the property. 

  • Remove excess ground fuel. 

  • Seal up any areas where embers could enter the property such as underfloor, roof eaves, roof-mounted external air-conditioners or windows without metal flyscreens. 

  • Ensure any bushfire mitigation measures required (based on the property’s bushfire attack level rating) are installed. 

  • Make sure there is at least one garden hose that extends to the perimeter of the property. 

  • Apply fire-resistant paint to the property’s exterior. 

  • Consider installing a bushfire landscaped garden. 

  • Encourage tenants to have a bushfire emergency plan. 

Increased risk of theft 

Did you know that the number of home burglaries spike in January and February?  

  • Ensure that installed security devices such as window and door locks meet legislated standards. 

  • Check that the locks are in good working order. 

  • Consider installing a security system. 

  • Consider installing motion-sensor lights and other theft-prevention measures like security doors and window grilles. 

  • Trim trees and shrubs around the property – these can provide cover for thieves. 

  • Remind tenants to lock windows and doors. 

  • Never ‘hide’ spare keys outside. 

Keeping tenants cool 

Did you know a study found that heat in rental homes routinely hit unhealthy levels in summer? 

  • Ensure that any supplied appliances like fridges and freezers are working properly. 

  • Consider installing fans and/or air-conditioners – heatwaves see requests from tenants for cooling spike. 

  • If fans and/or air-conditioners are supplied, check they are in good working order – tenants are quick to call if these appliances stop working in sweltering heat. 

  • Remind tenants to regularly clean the fans and air-con filters.  

  • Get in a professional to service evaporative and reverse-cycle air-con units. 

  • If not already installed, consider putting in insultation and roof vents. 

  • Consider installing shade cloth, awnings or window coverings over windows. 

Heat damage to property 

Did you know extreme heat can lead to both internal and external home damage?  

  • Apply fade-resistant paint to exterior surfaces. 

  • Consider installing shade cloth, awnings or window coverings over windows. 

  • Consider installing block-out curtains to protect carpets and furnishings from fading. 

  • Repair warped or damaged window and door frames. 

By being prepared for the hot weather risks and protecting yourself and your property with the right insurance, you’ll hopefully be able to relax, kick back and sip something icy cold (instead of attending to your investment property)! Want to safeguard your property if the worst happens? Talk to a member of our Expert Care team about insurance for your investment property. 

*While we have taken care to ensure the information above is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances and legislation after the displayed date may impact the accuracy of this article. If you need us we are here, contact 1800 661 662 if you have any questions. 

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