Natural disasters can occur at any time and Australia is prone to most of them. Here in Victoria we have more fires and floods, but really any of them can happen at any time. Not only do you have to sort out your own house and make sure you can withstand any disaster that may come your way, but you also have to make sure your rental property and tenants will be ok too.
What are the main types of natural disaster and what can you do to protect your investment and take care of your tenants?
- Have a working smoke detector.
- Create a 30-metre perimeter around the property, free of dry leaves, grass and shrubs that fuel bushfires.
- Fasten shelves to wall studs.
- Suggest to your tenants they should store breakables and poisons in cabinets that latch shut
- Secure heavy furniture (that you provided with the property)
- These natural disasters cause the most damage.
- Check to see if your property is in an area prone to flooding.
- If you live close to your investment property (and you have time) turn off utilities and move critical items to the highest point possible.
- Create an emergency survival kit. Provide it for your tenants, or provide a list so they know what they should prepare.
- Suggest to your tenants that they make an evacuation and communication plan.
- Take pictures prior to the disaster (this is likely to occur with new sets of tenants anyway) and after it, so that the difference can be shown.
- You should understand the process of reporting damages to your insurance provider.
- Review existing policies for the amount and extent of the coverage to ensure it is adequate.
- Be aware of how long it may take for the policy to pay out and also the waiting period while the policy comes into effect in the first place, and make sure you are covered for that period.
- Remember to store all your important documents (insurance policies, deeds, property records) in a safe place.
- The most common natural disasters that occur in Victoria are fires and flooding. Go to the Vic Emergency website to find all warning and alerts.
As well as making sure the foundations and building structure are stable, preparing for natural disasters can not only help minimise the damage to your investment property, but also protect your tenants and prevent legal problems in the future.
What are your tips for securing your investment property against natural disasters?