Malicious and accidental damage: What landlords need to know.

If you’re planning to be or are currently a landlord, there are certain things you have to know how to do. How to form a tenancy agreement, what to do in the case of a late payment, which investment home loan is the most suitable for you.

Even the good eggs can take a tumble!

1) Even good tenants cause accidental damage

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data on the subject reveals that 30% of all injuries occur inside the home. Fate does not differentiate on whether or not your tenant is prompt with their payments, or have never caused any issues in the past. As they say, accidents happen, and you have to be prepared for them.

Dealing with damage is all a part of the landlord experience. Don’t shy away from it, and don’t blame your tenant for something they didn’t intend to do.

2) Your insurance will differentiate between malicious and accidental

Unfortunately, you will occasionally get the scenario where a tenant has intentionally damaged your property.

There’s a world of difference between a tenant accidentally spilling something on the carpet and taking a cricket bat to the windows! The intention of a tenant can make all the difference when it comes to dealing with property damage, and it isn’t just a matter of the tenant’s personality: your insurance will make a distinction between what is considered accidental and your available payout will change accordingly.

For example, some insurance policies pay out for accidental damage, but only for those features that are a permanent fixture of the house: sinks, basins, showers, things like that. Kicking in the drywall, on the other hand, might be considered malicious, and landlord insurance will usually cover this in a more significant way, usually in the form of less specific requirements for payout.

3) Property inspections are your first defence

It isn’t a matter of bursting in on your tenant doing something wrong.

Ideally, you’ll avoid all of the hassle of any kind of damage by holding regular property inspections. It isn’t a matter of bursting in on your tenant doing something wrong – it’s about ensuring that any wear and tear that could lead to more accidental damage is dealt with quickly.

While insurance is a good way to recoup some of your losses, it is a much better policy to ensure that your tenant is living in a safe and suitable environment. That way, you avoid any potential accidental damage as well as keep a good relationship with your tenant and evade malicious damage too.

For more tips and tricks or just to find out more about the state of your home loan, contact me today!

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