Who is responsible for the management of the condition your investment property?
Most investors believe the managing agent is responsible for the management of the condition of their investment properties.
If you ask most managing agents they will tell you the management of the condition of investment properties is the responsibility of the investor.
It is this common breakdown in communication that leads to a situation where the condition of investment properties is left completely mismanaged.
Why does the condition of my investment property deteriorate faster than my own home?
Agents will generally respond to problem once it has occurred.
In most cases, significant damage has already occurred to surrounding building elements by the time the agent is notified.
Use braided water inlet lines to the kitchen sink taps as an example. The water lines are permanently pressurised and suffer from rapid deterioration. They generally burst without warning at the most inappropriate time.
Within minutes of a burst water line, an entire kitchen can be destroyed and the building rendered uninhabitable.
Often, there are obvious signs of deterioration to inexpensive building components. In the case of braided water inlet lines under sinks and vanities, the deterioration can be clearly seen, but only if you are looking for it.
Investment property condition inspections are carried out in compliance with AS 4349.1. Items such as these water lines are inspected and reported as defective if deterioration is found.
Braided water inlet lines are a twenty-dollar component that have the potential to cause tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage if left unmanaged.
Once unnecessary damage to a structure has occurred, repairs are usually undertaken quickly and with tight budgets. Often, signs of the repairs are obvious. From the moment this cycle begins, the condition of the structure deteriorates.
Understanding how your investment property is constructed is vital.
Understanding what type of termite management system is installed at your investment property is another area that is commonly overlooked.
Most structures were built with some type of termite management system installed.
In older buildings, the termite management often consisted of chemical applied to the material under the concrete slab. For the most part, those chemicals are now at end of life and offer no protection against termite attack.
A physical barrier is often fitted to newer buildings. Physical barriers require careful, accurate management to ensure they perform as designed. Physical barriers that have been breached, or have not been installed correctly offer no protection against termite attack.
Some structures are built from material that is termite resistant.
Some structures rely solely on inspection of the sub floor supporting piers or stumps.
Is your managing agent qualified and licenced to provide you with accurate termite management strategies for your investment property?
The consequences of a significant termite attack on a structure can be devastating.
Understanding the termite management system, what limitations it has and the ongoing maintenance it requires may be the single most important factor in maintaining the condition of your investment property.
Is my agent qualified, licenced and experienced to provide building and timber pest inspections and reports on my investment property?
It is likely that neither the managing agent or the tenant are qualified or licenced to conduct Australian Standard compliant investment property building and timber pest inspections and provide the associated reports.
It is likely that neither have the experience or report production capabilities to provide you with pro-active management strategies for your investment property.
In most instances the requirement for the inspector to be qualified and licenced to provide inspection and reporting services is law and is regulated by Queensland Health and the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.
Only highly qualified and experienced inspectors are able to gain and hold the required licences.
Does the type of structure effect the way it needs to be managed?
The occurrence of accelerated deterioration and damage to investment properties is much higher than what is seen in owner-occupied structures. There is no difference in the way that an investment property is built compared to an owner-occupied structure. The only difference is the way the structure is used and maintained.
Owner-occupiers tend to be pro-active with the condition management of the structure where managing agents and tenants are usually re-active.
Some structures are inherently more durable than others.
Structures built from brick and fitted with metal fascia’s, gutters and roofs are generally more resistant to deterioration from exposure to the environment.
Is it expensive to have annual investment property condition inspections carried out on my investment property?
The average cost of an annual building and timber pest inspection on an investment property is $480 + GST which is less than 0.14% of the value of the property
Agents management fees do not cover detailed building and timber pest inspections.
Ultimately, investment properties are aimed at providing a return on our investment.
Small, regular, well planned and tax-deductible amounts spent managing a property will, more often than not, provide an investor with the opportunity to achieve strong returns over the long term.
Moreton Bay Building and Pest Inspections provide separate, Australian Standards compliant, building and timber pest inspections including detailed digital reports that provide you with the information you require to manage the condition of your investment property.