What does warmer weather mean for your property?
There is no doubt that as seasons change so do the nature of requests from renters.
In the summer months we see an increase in calls about air-conditioning maintenance, requests for air conditioning to be installed, requests for consent to install pop up pools and requests for fly screens.
Air Conditioning repairs
Under Victorian legislation it is not mandatory to provide air-conditioning in a residential rental property, however if the property is leased with air-conditioning in place then it is mandatory that you maintain it. And if the air conditioning breaks down it is classed as an urgent repair. This means that you have 24 hours to arrange for this type of break down to be rectified.
If the rental provider or agent does not respond to the repair request, the renter can organise and pay for the repair themselves. They can only do this if the repair does not cost more than $2500. The rental provider must pay them back within 7 days. If the funds are not reimbursed within 7 days, the renter can apply to VCAT for a compensation order.
Requests for air conditioning to be installed
You do not have to agree to install air conditioning but we certainly recommend that you consider it. If you have a good reliable renter it's worth investing in air-conditioning especially if it means they will stay long term, sign another lease or maybe even pay a higher rental. The average financial cost when a renter vacates and you have to re-let is approximately $3500 (Incl letting fee, advertising and average 2 week vacancy). You should be able to have an air-conditioner installed for a similar cost. It's much better to keep a good renter rather than have to secure a new one. The air conditioner will add value to the property, most likely be tax deductible and will benefit future renters as well.
Requests for fly screens to be installed
An inexpensive way to cool a property down yet so many properties still do not have fly screens. Although not mandatory to provide in Victoria, it is certainly recommended. And if your property has them you must maintain them. For a small cost your renters might decide to stay on and renew their lease; such requests are certainly worth considering.
Pop up swimming pools
Over summer we often see renters erecting temporary pools. With strict pool fencing regulations across most states we advise our renters not to install these types of pools without consulting their property manager. Any pool, spa or pond that is more than 30cm deep must be fenced inline with local laws. When out doing inspections we're always on the look out for these types of dangers and will report such concerns to our owners.
Note: If your property is located outside of Victoria please refer to local legislative requirements)