Five landlord tips for rentals

There are hundreds of thousands of rental properties scattered throughout New Zealand, so it makes sense that as the market grows, landlords better understand their rights and responsibilities. With this in mind, AA Insurance has put together a few tips to help make the property investment journey a smoother one.

1. Your insurance policy will often set out landlord obligations which will help you protect your investment and reduce the risk of something untoward happening. A good place to start is by exercising reasonable care when choosing tenants and obtaining satisfactory references.

If you have AA Insurance’s Landlord cover, and you have selected the optional benefit for Extended Landlord cover, you’re obliged to monitor and manage rent arrears and conduct regular internal and external property inspections, keeping a written record of the outcome. Inspections are also a good way for any landlord to keep on top of any issues, necessary repairs, or potential problems.

2. The onus is on you to keep your rental home in good repair, ensure it’s secure and take all reasonable precautions and take reasonable care to prevent loss occurring. This means conducting any necessary repairs in a timely fashion, providing and maintaining locks and other security mechanisms, as well as maintaining smoke alarms. Not sure where to place the smoke alarms? Then check out the Fire and Emergency website.

Landlords are required to have working smoke alarms installed in all residential rental homes, as well as insulation to keep the home warm in winter and cool in summer. For more details about what’s required of you as a landlord, visit Tenancy Services website.

3. If you’re about to purchase a rental, then do your due diligence and ask the owner or the agent if the property has been tested for drug contamination and ask to see the results. If no test has been carried out, get one done yourself. If you already own a rental, consider including this type of test in your property inspections. There’s more information about this on the Tenancy Services website.

4. If you need to make a claim, don’t delay. Storing up incidents to make a single claim once the tenants move out could mean damage can worsen over time. Also, unless all the damage has occurred at the same time or during the same event, you’ll need to make separate claims for each event causing damage, with one excess applying to each of these claims.

5. Finally, make sure you have the right insurance for your circumstances. Loss of rent and natural disasters are generally available under standard cover, but check with your insurer for optional benefits. For example, AA Insurance provides Extended Landlord cover which gives you peace of mind if a tenant vacates without notice, is evicted, causes intentional or contaminates your rental home through the use, consumption, storage or manufacturing of illegal drugs.

Any questions?

Now’s a great time to review your insurance. We recommend checking your details are up to date and ensuring the policy and cover you’ve chosen is right for you and your insurance needs.

If you have any questions about your insurance, need to update your AA Insurance policies or would like a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and from 8am to 6pm weekends and public holidays.

This blog is intended for informational purposes only. You should not rely upon this information as a substitute for advice. If you would like to talk to someone about your personal situation, we recommend that you seek advice from a professional or from any of the agencies listed in this article.

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