Brisbane, and most of Queensland’s east coast, experience severe storms over summer that often bring torrential rain, heavy winds, and severe lightning. These all pose a significant threat to your rental property. The last thing you want, or need, is to endanger the safety of your tenants! You also want to safeguard your investment property or properties and this is where taking proactive measures now to protect your rental properties from summer storms and storm damage pays off. Here are some basic property management tips to help you storm-proof your investment property.
Prepare Your Rental Property For Torrential Rain And Summer Storm Damage Well In Advance
Well before the storm season starts, do a thorough inspection of your rental property, or have your property agent do it. Make a list of everything that needs attention, and address the issues you identify promptly.
Look for damage such as displaced tiles on the roof, loose roofing iron and sheds that could blow over, and other loose items lying around. Get the roof checked by a professional if necessary.
Identify deteriorating exterior structures that may not stand up to a severe storm and either remove or repair them.
Ensure gutters and downpipes are clear of debris so they can cope with heavy rain, and storm water runoff to prevent water overflow.
Stay up to date with routine maintenance. This not only reduces your ‘Pre-Storm Season To Do’ list but also helps reduce storm damage should there be any unexpected or particularly devastating storms.
Secure Outdoor Furniture And Objects
Strong winds during severe storms can turn hitherto harmless outdoor furniture and unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles with the potential to cause significant damage to life and limb, not to mention your investment property.
Make sure anything that could blow away in destructive winds is securely attached to something solid. Have your tenants move anything that can’t be tied down to a safe storage area before the storm hits. This will reduce the risk of injury to your tenants, your property, and anyone else in the vicinity.
Cover and secure above ground pools to protect them from storm debris and getting blown over. Unsecured trampolines are another potentially deadly missile in gale force winds.
Ensure exterior windows and doors are strong enough to withstand whatever winds come their way. Repair any that are damaged, and consider installing storm shutters for protection against particularly strong winds.
Trim Trees And Branches Away From The Home Or Power Lines
Severe storms can damage trees and overhanging trees and branches have the potential to cause a lot of very expensive damage to your property, or to overhead infrastructure. Consider having a professional prune overhanging trees close to your house or other infrastructure that could be damaged if the tree, or a branch, comes down.
Don’t forget the verge trees either. If they are the council’s responsibility to maintain, contact them.
Inspect And Maintain Power Lines
Keep an eye on power lines on or close to your property and contact your energy company if you have any concerns about potentially loose or damaged wires. Likewise, if you have trees close to power lines that you’re not sure about, ask and they’ll tell you if any of them pose a danger and should be pruned.
Install Surge Protectors
Summer storms often come with lightning strikes, especially tropical storms like we see in SE Queensland. These can cause power surges and fatally damage electrical appliances. Consider installing good quality surge protectors in your rental property to safeguard electronic and electrical equipment. Also advise your tenants to unplug these devices during storms to prevent damage.
Install And Maintain Proper Stormwater Drainage
Torrential rain is common in Brisbane’s summer storms. So installing good drainage will help prevent flooding and water pooling around structural foundations and damaging them.
Furthermore, many councils have regulations around installing stormwater drainage systems to help reduce flash flooding. Ensure your property complies with any relevant council regulations in this regard, and that everything is up to code.
Clear, regularly maintain and get built up dirt removed from around drains, soakwells, and other stormwater drainage infrastructure. This is so water can drain away quickly should flooding occur.
Communicate Storm Safety With Your Tenants
Your tenants are probably already aware of the basic protocols around storm safety but it doesn’t hurt to make sure.
Provide a list of emergency contact numbers and the location of local emergency shelters and gathering areas.
Ensure they know where and how to turn off utilities in an emergency.
Ensure they are aware of the importance of staying clear of trees during severe weather. And not to park vehicles under them either. Some types of Eucalypts, like white gums, are called ‘widow makers’ due to their notorious habit of dropping branches without warning.
Educate them about the dangers of fallen power lines. Make make sure they understand the importance of reporting any such hazards to the local energy company immediately.
Provide a list of emergency supplies they should keep on hand. Essential items like torches and spare batteries, non-perishable food, back up fresh water supplies, a comprehensive First Aid kit, and so on.
There is also an excellent Queensland Government website that every household should know about. Find it HERE.
Invest In A Comprehensive Insurance Policy
Consider taking out a comprehensive general and landlord insurance policy for your rental property. Ideally it should include flood cover and cover for storm-related damage. This can provide peace of mind and financial protection in the event of significant storm damage or a flash flood. Keep it up to date as things change on the property.
Position One Property Managers – Taking Good Care Of Your Property
Taking precautions to protect your rental property and the safety of your tenants during the summer storm season in Brisbane not only makes good business sense but is also a duty of care. At Position One, we ensure those all-important regular maintenance inspections are done regularly. We’ll see that any necessary repair work is carried out promptly and efficiently. We will also work with you and your tenants to minimise storm-related risks.
Need more property management tips? Contact our experienced team of investment property managers for advice and help with managing your property through even the most devastating storms.