Warn­ing: safety is no joke

The Advertiser - Real Estate - - Wilpena Tce, Kilkenny -

se­ri­ous busi­ness for real es­tate in­vestors, and can po­ten­tially de­stroy your wealth if not han­dled cor­rectly. Land­lords are re­spon­si­ble for any dan­gers lurk­ing in their prop­er­ties, ex­perts say.

‘‘If main­te­nance is­sues aren’t at­tended to promptly and the ten­ant in­jures them­selves as a re­sult, the land­lord could find them­selves ex­posed to a costly le­gal li­a­bil­ity claim,’’ says Terri Scheer In­sur­ance ex­ec­u­tive man­ager Carolyn Ma­jda.

One way to lower your fi­nan­cial risk is by us­ing a property man­ager, she says.

‘‘Property man­agers are able to con­duct reg­u­lar property in­spec­tions to iden­tify main­te­nance is­sues, en­sure the ten­ant is look­ing af­ter the property and, if re­quired, li­aise with ap­pro­pri­ate trades­peo­ple as soon as pos­si­ble to ad­dress any con­cerns.’’ Of course, you can man­age your property yourself but make sure you keep on top of any threats to ten­ant safety.

An­other way to re­duce risk is to in­sure your property cor­rectly. A stan­dard build­ing and con­tents pol­icy is not enough for a real es­tate in­vestor. Land­lord in­sur­ance poli­cies in­clude a grow­ing pile of op­tions, in­clud­ing cover for le­gal ex­penses and loss of rent.

Im­por­tantly, in­sur­ance usu­ally comes with mil­lions of dol­lars of pub­lic li­a­bil­ity pro­tec­tion, plus it’s a tax de­duc­tion for an in­vestor.

Dodgy ten­ants are not the only threats to a land­lord’s in­vest­ment. Dodgy floor­ing, faulty wiring and dan­ger­ous ap­pli­ances can be just as painful fi­nan­cially if not man­aged cor­rectly.

And watch out for signs of T-Rex in the gar­den. I be­lieve they have a taste for pet dogs.

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