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Common Winter Property Problems – And How to Avoid Them

A tree fallen on a house

The best place to be during winter is inside, rugged up and cosy. Unfortunately, old houses can wreak havoc on the best laid plans, and as a landlord there are numerous issues that can arise which require your attention. In this article, we will discuss a few of the most common winter property problems.

Leaky Roofs

While many people don’t realise it, roofs need to be maintained regularly. Old roofs can start losing tiles, accumulate debris in valleys, or become rusted around bolts. It’s important to regularly inspect your roof, but many of these checks get missed during the buying and initial rental phases.  There are a few days of consistent heavy rain during winter that become apparent, and when water is leaking into the house, the problem is quite severe. Roofing problems escalate exponentially, and it is important they are dealt with quickly to avoid costly repairs in the future.

Broken Heaters

In the same vain as leaky roofs not being apparent until the water is flowing through them, broken heating systems won’t be obvious until someone tries to use them.

As a landlord, heatering systems are often supplied as a chattel or appliances with the rental, and therefore it is your responsibility to maintain them. Tenants are liable to become grumpy if they are stuck in a cold house when they paid for a working source of heating.

The best way to avoid getting stuck with a long delay in repairs is to have your property management team check all of the chattels and appliances thoroughly during initial property inspections.

 Storm Damage

 Some storm damage is often unavoidable. The forces of nature can be extreme, and with climate change storms are likely to become more intense and irregular, leading to all sorts of unforeseen outcomes. A lot of storm damage, however, is preventable with good property management. Roof inspections are a great way to isolate and repair loose tiles before they fly off and wreck someone’s car. Another excuse for a roof inspection is to clean gutters, as gutters filled with debris can make it easier for water to get into the roof space.

A tree inspection from a qualified arborist can identify problematic overhanging branches and develop a plan to remove them.

Contact Walker Weir for Efficient Property Management

Walker Weir are experienced property managers in Auckland. We manage a plethora of properties and have an exceptional list of tradespeople on call for all manner of inspections and repairs. We are also persistently thinking about how best to manage the property owner’s interests, which means we are thorough with our regular inspections to catch minor issues before they become expensive problems. Call us today on 0226579432 or contact us online.

July 9th, 2018

Renting an investment property can be a hassle. Understanding the legal obligations of landlords and tenants can take a long time and that’s before you’re even fulfilling them. The ongoing demands of maintenance, chasing rent and doing inspections can really take it out of you. At the end of the day, managing the tenants of even a single investment property can begin to feel like a job. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common issues with tenants that landlords face and explain how a good property manager can save you time and money.

Tenants Not Paying Rent on Time

While it’s never polite to be rude or aggressive about money, paying rent is the basis of a rental contract. There can be dozens of reasons why a tenant has been unable to pay rent on time, and they are more often than not legitimate. Cash flow problems can affect anyone. Whether your tenant is suffering from a recent unemployment, had a spike in medical bills or is simply bad at managing their money, there is always a diplomatic way to go about getting your money. Sometimes a payment plan needs to be devised, other times it may be necessary to wait a week for their next pay cheque. Being demanding and aggressive may lead to a tenant to leave early and place you in the tricky situation of needing to find a new one.

A good property management company will know the ins and outs of communicating delicately and effectively with tenants. A happy tenant is likely to be more reliable and easy to manage. A mark of a successful management company is that they will have a guarantee, meaning that the homeowner always receives their rent, even if the tenant is having cash flow problems. This avoids having the tenant’s cash flow problems becoming yours.

Tenants Being Obstructive Neighbours

As a landlord, you are often approached by neighbours and members of the community when your tenants are loud. It might be all night parties or a drum kit that is only used within daylight hours when the neighbour works nights and sleeps during the day. Often the best solution is to have the tenants solve the issue directly with the neighbours, but sometimes it is impossible and mediation is required.

Thorough screening and a detailed tenancy agreement is usually the best preparation for avoiding tricky situations, but the next best thing is experienced property managers who have experience mediating complex situations.

Undocumented Tenants and Animals

It’s an issue that is all too common. A house gets rented to a couple and unbeknownst to the landlord, half a dozen other friends move in. Different tenancy agreements permit subleasing the property and there is never a uniform way to deal with the situation. A good property manager may be able to find a solution that is beneficial to all parties, such as a slightly increased rent or bond to cover the increased likelihood of property damage.

Walker Weir are Professional Property Managers in Auckland

Walker Weir are highly rated professional property managers in Auckland. We manage properties across the city, making us experts in the industry. Our priority is the property owner, and we offer a rental income guarantee so you can trust us to manage the property while you sit back and watch the money flow. Call us today on 0226579432 or contact us online.

July 9th, 2018
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