"We’re all going on a summer holiday"

Summertime is when many landlords and tenants head off on vacation. But before you go…

Couple on Beach

The chaos of Christmas and New Year is over. Some people are back at work while others are taking some much-needed time out. The same is true for tenants and landlords.
 
With a little planning, landlords can be assured that their investment property is being looked after even when it is empty or they are away.
 
Tips for property managers (PMs) and landlords when tenants are going away:
  • Use the break to attend to maintenance issues. Arrange for any intrusive repairs or upgrades, e.g. internal work or landscaping to be made in their absence.
  • Remind tenants to cancel any deliveries including mail.
  • If the tenants will be away for an extended period, shut off the gas and water mains for safety. Ask tenants to unplug non-essential electrical appliances.
  • Burglaries are rife during the festive season, ensure the security measures are adequate (see our story in this edition) and ask tenants to be diligent with locking up.
  • If the premises are fitted with an alarm, make sure the tenants set it before leaving (ensure the security company has PM and landlord contact details).

A note about subletting

Tenants may be tempted to rent out the property while they are away. If the tenant wants to rent out the home and the landlord agrees, check with us first as subletting is often excluded in insurance policies due to the increased risks.
 
A quick checklist for landlords going on vacation:
  • Notify your PM that you are going away and let them know how long you’ll be gone.
  • Make sure your PM has your contact details for emergencies.
  • If you are going somewhere where you can’t be reached, assign an agent to act on your behalf. Your PM should have a degree of authority, but if something major happens and they need to get your approval, you’ll need someone to act in your stead. Make sure your PM has the contact details of your agent.
  • If you engage contractors (e.g. garden maintenance, handyperson, plumbers, electricians etc.) directly, also let them know you are going away and that they may be contacted by your agent. And remember to take their contact details with you just in case.
PMs going on leave should also make sure their landlord and tenant clients have the contact details of the colleague acting on their behalf and know where to turn during their absence.

A note about short-term rentals

If a landlord is looking to switch the property to short-term rental over summer, it’s important to check that the insurance policy allows this. Talk to us about the right landlord policy.