Rental Property Maintenance in Summer
Perth residents know only too well what summer brings…
Whether it’s the discomfort of scorching days, air-conditioning breaking down, or the danger of bushfires, don’t stress, as a landlord, there are still ways you can get ahead before the heat sets in!
At We Love Rentals, our property managers are experts at planning summer maintenance.
This is the right time to carry out:
- indoor maintenance such as servicing air conditioning and smoke alarms
- outdoor maintenance like cleaning gutters and servicing pool pumps
- a fire risk assessment.
Although tenants are responsible for keeping the property in reasonable condition, all major maintenance is your responsibility (unless the tenant directly causes damage.)
Indoor Rental Property Maintenance
Landlords must keep items they provide (like whitegoods) in working order. This is especially crucial in summer! There’s nothing worse than air conditioning failing on a 40-degree day.
Indoor maintenance tasks include:
Servicing air-conditioning annually helps prevent health problems, reduces the risk of breakdowns/mould build-up, and keeps air safe for tenants.
It’s important to insure your air conditioning too!
Maintain smoke alarms
Legislation requires you to:
- install at least two mains-powered smoke alarms
- maintain them in working order and
- replace alarms every 10 years.
Our electricians perform annual smoke alarm maintenance for a fee. They then provide discounted call-out fees for electrical work during the year!
Check and repair appliances
Remember, regular maintenance minimises expensive repairs later!
Outdoor Rental Property Maintenance
In summer, neglecting outdoor maintenance can create risks.
We recommend you:
clean gutters and leaf litter
This improves fire safety and keeps your property looking spiffy!
service pools and surrounds
- servicing (and insuring) your pool pump
- having pool water tested
- ensuring pool gates lock securely and that there are no objects pushed against pool fences that could allow children to climb over
service bores, tanks and reticulation
Service (and insure) bore pumps. Check the reticulation is in working order – this makes it easy for tenants to keep gardens alive.
Check rainwater tank inlets for debris. Clean tanks every two years.
Managing fire risk
After the devastating bushfires in 2020, landlords must be cautious, especially in regional areas.
House fires are also a risk.
preparing your property
If your property is in a bushfire risk area, the Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) advises regular fire-safety maintenance.
Before summer, they suggest you:
- cut grass to below 10cm
- prune shrubs
- remove all flammable material
- clear tree branches within 20 metres
- block gaps and install metal mesh on windows/vents/chimneys etc.
- install protective screens on air-conditioners
- install a fire shield like a solid fence.
Even if your property is not in a bushfire risk zone, some of this advice may still be applicable, especially if your property is close to a risk zone.
DFES recommends residents in risk zones create a bushfire plan — encourage tenants to do this.
Plans may include:
- when to leave
- routes to take
- people to contact
- what to take
- backup plans including where to shelter.
fire emergency kits
DFES suggests creating a bushfire emergency kit — encourage tenants to do this.
Kits may include:
- drinking water/food
- first aid kit, medications etc.
- important documents
- portable AM/FM radio
- waterproof torch and woollen blankets
- protective clothing.
NOTE: The above is general advice only. For comprehensive information on bushfire preparation, planning and bushfire kits, visit DFES and government websites.
House fires happen year-round, but some property fire risks are more prevalent in summer.
- rechargeable batteries overheating and igniting
- faulty electrical appliances (e.g. old “beer fridges”)
- cooking mishaps from barbeques/outdoor kitchens.
Strategies to prevent house fires include providing:
- at least two compliant RCDs
- responding urgently to reports of:
- flickering/buzzing lights
- RCDs tripping
- blackened power outlets
- electric shocks
- a fire blanket and fire extinguisher in outdoor cooking areas.
Instruct tenants to:
- report faults immediately
- check smoke alarm batteries
- be aware of risks relating to lithium-ion batteries:
- use only authentic chargers/batteries
- don’t recharge damaged batteries
- keep devices cool.
So, what next?
If you’re intimidated by your list of summer jobs, your property manager can help. Whether it’s booking tradespeople or liaising with tenants, they’ll reduce your stress.
At We Love Rentals, our specialist property managers can manage it all so you don’t have to!
If you think we can help, please get in touch on (08) 6254 6300 or click here for a free property appraisal!