Not so handy tenants

Home Disaster

When to draw the line on handy help around the house. 
A helpful tenant is every landlord’s dream. They tidy the garden, do odd jobs and keep your property looking ship-shape.
But, when they bring out a ladder or start-up power tools, the benefits can quickly swing out of your favour, especially when it comes to insurance. 
Landlords and tenants are usually covered by different insurance products. That means if damage or injury occurs while your tenant is undertaking work or repairs at your property, neither of you are potentially covered.
Any savings and convenience extracted from a tenant’s DIY help can quickly be absorbed by costly repair work or, worse, medical costs.
Regular inspections provide the ideal time to keep an eye on over-zealous tenants, as well as identifying work that needs to be done. 
Many repairs can be resolved by DIY landlords or paid handymen, although several jobs remain strictly in the realm of professionals, especially from a landlord insurance perspective. 
Repairs and work best kept to the experts include:
  • Electrical work: Apart from being dangerous, most DIY electrical work is illegal.
     
  • Plumbing: The rules of what you can and can’t do yourself differs state to state but self-plumbing permitted is generally restricted to minor work like reseating taps.
     
  • Structural work: Knocking out a few walls seems easy but you need to understand where the load-bearing walls are to avoid a disaster. Pay a professional for help.
     
  • Roof repairs: While the repairs can be difficult, moving around on a roof can be dangerous. Make sure you’re prepared before climbing up. 
     
  • Asbestos: Removing asbestos is a potentially hazardous job covered by various legislative requirements from state to state. Consider getting professional help.
If you’re unsure about what maintenance work is covered under your policy, please contact us.