Stuck in the gutter – who pays for winter waterworks?
So winter is here. The rains have come in many parts of the country and will come again for the next few months.
For weeks, eager handymen have popped their flyers in the letterbox. “Gutters cleaned… best rates”, they proclaim.
Landlords don’t necessarily see those flyers but they should be thinking about how their investments are going to stand up to prolonged exposure to wet and windy weather. Chances are the tenants have not.
Did that cracked tile get replaced from the time the TV antenna on the roof was fixed? Is the roof still waterproof? What’s that thistle waving its greenery over the gutter near the down-pipe growing in? There shouldn’t be soil up there. Should there?
Routine maintenance, fair wear and tear or just accidental damage – who’s responsible for fixing what and for making the proper preparations for the onslaught of winter?
Landlord insurance will cover many situations. Where the problems are preventable, though, the landlord or property manager needs to make sure tenants are meeting their obligations.
Rain damage can lead to long term problems such as rotting timbers, mould, flaking paint, even collapsed ceilings.
Blocked gutters may cause all of the above, so it’s important to keep them clean and flowing freely.
“A good property manager or landlord will make sure the tenant is aware of their obligation to keep such things as gutters in good working order,” said Sharon Fox-Slater, RentCover’s Executive General Manager.
“Clearly, if they keep things running smoothly going into winter, there won’t be a risk of confrontation, blame games and expensive and time consuming repair work when spring is in the air,” she said.
Read more from The RentCover Report July: