Maintenance & Repairs
Being responsive and proactive when it comes to maintenance can be the difference between a long and happy tenancy and a short stressful tenancy. It is also a vital part of maintaining the capital value of your investment whilst achieving the best possible rental return.
We have a list of suitably qualified tradespeople who are familiar in working with both tenants and landlords, however you may prefer to use or recommend one of your own. Just make sure they are appropriately qualified and insured.
Urban Choices Property do not charge any additional fees for arranging maintenance and we do not receive any payment from contractors that we recommend
All maintenance that is reported by the tenant will be recorded and reported to yourself for further instructions. If it is determined that the cause is as a result of the tenant’s actions then the tenant will be held responsible for the damage, and we take action as required.
Should a resident have an emergency repair they are required to make all reasonable attempts to contact the owner or the agent. If they have no response they could arrange for the repair and spend up to $1800. These urgent repairs are detailed in the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, and are only applicable where there is considered to be an immediate health, safety or security risk, or where the issue left unattended could lead to considerable damage to the property.
Urban Choices Property provides a variety of contact details to residents in the event they have an urgent repair after hours. If we receive a request, we will contact you as per your instructions or if required we will act in your best interests to resolve the matter.
Smoke alarms must be installed in all Victorian homes, units, flats and townhouses. Landlords are responsible for fitting smoke alarms in rented properties. Hard-wired smoke alarms with a battery back-up must be installed in all buildings constructed after 1 August 1997. Buildings constructed before that date can have a battery-powered smoke alarm.
It is recommended landlords engage a professional smoke alarm inspector to conduct an annual check-up to ensure the alarm is in working order. Professional inspectors will test the smoke chamber to ensure it is operational, as well as replace the battery. They will also undertake a decibel test, button test, and replace any faulty parts. They will also ensure the alarm is in the correct position as per the building regulations. They will then issue a Compliance Certificate for the property. Engaging an inspector is only about $100-$150 and is tax deductible. For peace of mind and ensuring their property is fully compliant, it’s well worth landlords making the call. Urban Choices Property can arrange this on your behalf, and ensure that the property is compliant and meeting legislative guidelines.
For peace of mind we would strongly recommend that you have Landlord Protection Insurance to cover all those unexpected events that may happen during a tenancy. Whilst we do everything we can to manage the tenancy and property there may be a time when insurance is needed.
Standard home and contents insurance will not protect landlords against many of the risks, whether it’s loss of rent due to an absconding tenant, malicious or accidental damage, or a whole range of other circumstances including tenant hardship.
When you think about some of the associated risks with property and tenancies such as personal injury claims, property damage, compensation claims, theft and legal expenses it is vital that you protect yourself from any risk.
There are many specialized insurance providers offering Landlord insurance and it is very cost effective with some policies costing around $7 a week, which is a small price to pay to know that your investment is protected.
Be gas smart. The silent killer.
Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless, toxic flammable gas. Carbon monoxide has been named the “Silent Killer” due to the fact it cannot be seen or smelt and when consumed in large enough quantities by the body can cause severe illness or death. Faulty gas appliances contribute to a significant proportion of the carbon monoxide poisonings in Australia each year.
Energy Safe Victoria, the gas safety regulator, advises that small children, unborn babies, people with heart issues and the elderly are particularly susceptible to CO poisoning. The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 Section (68) states the following “A landlord must ensure that the rented premises are maintained in good repair.” This includes gas appliances provided by the landlord.
Energy Safe Victoria recommends that gas appliances are tested and inspected at least every 2 years. According to ESV, a gas appliance that has been correctly installed and regularly maintained will not present a hazard. If however an appliance is not working properly or is used incorrectly, dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide can result. For detailed facts about Carbon Monoxide, check the website of Energy Safe Victoria www.esv.vic.gov.au