The property investor’s duty of care

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The property investor’s duty of care

The recent deaths of five children in rental properties throughout the country has highlighted the need for greater awareness of the maintenance required in rental properties.

In particular the maintenance and state of repair of potentially high risk areas like timber decks, balconies and hand railings.

If someone is hurt or suffers a loss in a rental property, they will seek compensation from the property owner.

Our routine inspection reports detail the tenant’s cleanliness and care of the property and recommend any preventative maintenance measures. However we are not qualified to make an assessment of the risks associated with areas such as decks, balconies, glass, steps, handrails and safety switches.

We strongly recommend a contractor be appointed to make an assessment of the property and report the risk and state of repair of these areas in order to minimise your risk and minimise the risk of injury to a tenant or third party entering the property.

In this age of litigation, it is paramount that property investors adopt a pro-active approach to reducing their risk by arranging a regular due diligence program on the state of repair of their investment property. Not only will having a building assessment report assist in mitigating your loss should there be a public liability/injury claim lodged against you, it will also highlight areas of preventative maintenance that could actually save you money in the long term. Last but not least, it will give you peace of mind and the potential of higher rental returns.

We can arrange for a professional assessment to be undertaken on your behalf. Alternatively, you can appoint your own builder or qualified contractor to report on the state of repair of any high-risk areas in your property, including the estimated costs involved in rectifying these areas.