One for the property investors:

End of financial year is coming! This is the time to have a look at your property portfolio, do your numbers and work out where you can make improvements or do maintenance on your assets.

In fact, you possibly should have been looking at this stuff a couple months ago, but never-mind. Put it in the diary for next year.

Lets face it, property investors have responsibilities.  If you’ve got enough capital to own property, you should have enough cash flow to maintain it. (All Property Managers would agree).timber deck

It’s not law yet, but there are some diligent Property Managers out there that are pushing to have mandatory building inspections phased in as part of their management service. The sad case of a baby’s death in Yeppoon in 2010 can be used as an example of why this is such a serious issue.

Shortly after that terrible incident our insurance company issued a new clause for us to insert into all reports.  It stated that all timber decks should be inspected regularly by a licensed engineer.

The wording of the clause seems like overkill. However it is understandable in the case of a rental property where the landlord is not held to a maintenance schedule.  Property Managers are not a trained residential property inspectors so insurance companies have no choice but to over-react.

So what is the answer?

Property investors need to do the right thing. We bang on and on about maintenance here at Dwell because we believe a house should last a lifetime. And it can if it’s well maintained.

When you neglect the property you reside in, you’re being foolish. When you neglect a property that someone is paying you rent to reside in…you’re being negligent.

You’re also running down your own asset. Property investors have to take the “Long Game” approach to their assets and think specifically about the year you want to sell that asset. What do you expect to get? If you want the best price possible (whatever the market is doing), you’ll need to have maintained the property.

Think of your investment property as an asset. Get a thorough building inspection done regularly (we think biannually is adequate) that includes a complete maintenance program for you or your Property Manager to follow.  Then year after year, follow it. Pro-active instead of re-active.

In the end, that will be the difference between a good retirement fund and a great retirement fund.