EPM: Best Practice & Legislation

  • 30 things to look for in landlord insurance

    It was back in 1991 when a gap in the market was recognised for specialist landlord insurance. …

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  • death of a tenant - what to do if a tenant dies

    What to do if a tenant dies: Sharon Fox Slater

    EBM RentCover managing director Sharon Fox-Slater looks at what needs to happen when a tenant passes away from an insurance perspective. …

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  • Nothing routine about this inspection

    Property managers are often faced with the unenviable task of educating investors and owners on how a property will deteriorate with age and wear and tear. A property manager on a recent online forum summed it up perfectly with an analogy of getting a car serviced. Everyone gets their car serviced and invests money into… …

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  • A step-by-step guide to natural disaster claims

    It is hard to imagine the tragedy hundreds of Australians are facing as they slowly return to homes, businesses and communities ravaged by Mother Nature. For many, there will be nothing left but the heartbreaking task of cleaning up and starting over or moving on altogether. In these difficult circumstances, landlords and tenants will often… …

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  • NYE parties in rentals: What are the risks for PMs?

    New Year’s Eve is traditionally when people reflect on the year past and what the next 12 months may hold. It’s also a time when people let their hair down and revel! Hosting NYE parties, and entertaining in general, can expose investment properties to a few risks. And while most would rather be a party-popper than a party-pooper, a bit of pre-party prep by landlords and PMs could save you a post-party headache. …

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  • Five big issues that affected the real estate industry in 2019

    The real estate industry is never stagnant. It is impacted by regulation changes, the rise and fall of the economy, buying motivations and the generosity of banks. Heck! Mother Nature can even wreak havoc and play a part in the way we buy, rent and manage property. This year has been no different. There have been ups and downs, and everything in between. …

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  • Protecting properties this festive season

    For many people, the image of the festive season is one of joy. But sadly, once the last of the Pavlova has been eaten, many landlords and agents will face the harsh reality of what the season can bring for investment properties.  Now, I don’t want to be a party-pooper, but things happen and you and your landlords and tenants need to be prepared. …

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  • The do’s and don’ts of landlord insurance

    When you are in a highly-regulated industry such as real estate, things can change quickly and get complicated. Throw in the complexities of insurance, and we wouldn’t blame you if you started pulling your hair out. START AT THE BEGINNINGTo keep your locks intact, it is a good idea to know your rights and responsibilities as a property manager and to ensure you are working within the laws so you can make well-informed decisions when protecting investments. …

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  • Now is the time for that annual insurance review: Sharon Fox-Slater

    A new financial year has dawned and chances are you’re busy setting some fresh business goals while gathering all your paperwork for your tax agent. While reviewing the insurances on your RE business might not be at the top of your list, now just might be the best time to do so. Many small business owners take out insurance at the start of the financial year, …

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  • Photoelectric smoke alarms: A clearer picture

    How can you tell the difference between smoke alarms? They don’t seem different when they are on the ceiling. Recent changes in the Queensland legislation state that all rental properties in Queensland are required to have smoke alarms that meet the new standard upgraded before 1 January 2022. In Queensland, photoelectric alarms must be used for compliance under the new legislation. …

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  • Smoke alarms: What you need to know

    A smoke alarm provides the best opportunity to detect fire, protect investments and save lives.  Regular smoke alarm maintenance is required to make sure all alarms are functioning optimally. SMOKE ALARM TYPES There are many types of smoke alarms, and the basic terminology you need to know is photoelectric or ionisation, hard-wired, radio frequency or battery operated. Most Fire Services recommend photoelectric alarms as they are quicker to detect smoke and don’t function using small amounts of radiation.  …

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  • Mi casa es su casa: The insurance perils of sub-letting

    Increasing costs of living and high prices for rentals in desirable areas mean the idea of sub-letting is appealing for many tenants. And while many think this is just a matter between landlord and tenant, it’s important to consider the landlord’s insurer – as generally sub-letting is not covered. Sub-letting is where a tenant privately organises for someone to pay for use of the home they themselves are renting – when they transfer part of their interest under the lease to another person. …

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  • Don’t let your insurance become a disaster

    What advice would you give to property investors, landlords and property managers impacted by a natural disaster? Natural disasters like bushfires, floods, storms and cyclones can not only cause widespread devastation, but also confusion. When a rental is caught up in a disaster, there can be a lot of uncertainty about how owners, tenants and agents should respond. This is where insurers can step in and provide guidance. …

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  • In too deep: How to manage property through natural disaster

    Cassandra Charlesworth spoke to principals in Townsville and the Whitsundays to find out what that experience is like, and to understand the most effective strategies they implemented when dealing with these defining moments. Townsville Flooding: Ben Kingsberry, Harcourts As the rain continued to fall in Townsville on 31 January, Harcourts Kingsberry Principal Ben Kingsberry knew this would be a weather event like no other. …

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  • Cover Yourself: Sharon Fox-Slater

    No matter how diligent an agent you are, sometimes issues arise and you can find a tenant or landlord accusing you of failing in your duties. This is where Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance is a safety net, protecting you from financial loss following a claim of negligence against you by covering your legal defence costs and damages payable. PI cover is a necessary and smart move, …

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  • Legal liability at Airbnbs: Sharon Fox-Slater

    As we rocket towards the festive break, many landlords will be looking at tapping into the Airbnb juggernaut and offering their properties on shared accommodation platforms. But before they welcome guests, it’s imperative that the right landlord insurance is in place. In a heart-breaking incident, a four-year-old boy was killed at a property being rented out via Airbnb on the Sunshine Coast in September. …

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  • Spring open that little black book of tradies: Sharon Fox-Slater

    As the weather heats up, a little seasonal TLC at investment properties may be on the cards. Sharon Fox-Slater says now is a great time to get out your little black book of tradies and arrange some springtime maintenance. Spring is traditionally when property owners give their homes a good clean and refresh. The arrival of warmer weather also heralds the need for a little TLC at investment properties, …

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  • Don’t blame the messenger: Michelle Williams

    Unfortunately, this kind of reactive management is no longer acceptable to the savvy investor. They expect you to represent them and lead their decisions based on knowledge and expertise. They don’t want you to simply be the go-between. When you think about it, why would they pay for that service when they could cut out the middleman? When I see correspondence from my own office that is simply a message requiring the owner to make a decision without our advice, …

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  • Preparing for bushfire season: Sharon Fox-Slater

    Bushfire season has just begun, but already there have been devastating fires across New South Wales, in Queensland’s Far North, near Darwin and in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. And as spring moves into summer, many other parts of the country will also brace for fires. For agents managing rentals in bushfire-prone areas, it is time to make sure your landlord clients and tenants are prepared: Know the bushfire risks in the area. …

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  • Going to the dogs: Sharon Fox-Slater

    As new legislation in Victoria is set to see pets in rentals become the norm instead of the exception, Sharon Fox-Slater says the fear of damage might not be justified. With the Victorian Government tabling its ‘Fair Rent’ Bill in Parliament, the issue of pets in rentals is in the spotlight again. Amongst the 130 reforms, the proposed new legislation provides protections for pet owners, …

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  • Are your listings at threat from meth contamination?

    “Meth House of Horror!”, “Ice Epidemic!”, “Rental Properties Test Positive for Meth/ice”. The headlines are alarming and fuel widespread fears about meth contamination. Concerns are particularly prevalent in the rental industry, with stories about investment properties being used as clandestine laboratories or smoking dens, and subsequent tenants suffering ill-effects from exposure to the toxic residue. With alarm bells ringing, agents are worried that they may be managing a ticking health time bomb. …

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  • Fiddling on the roof: Sharon Fox-Slater

    We are mid-way through winter and many parts of the country are getting windy and wet (although unfortunately not the right places right now!) When wild weather descends, roofs take a battering – and many come off second best. At RentCover around 55 per cent of all storm damage claims we receive relate to roofs. Last winter alone approximately $1.5 million was paid for storm damage claims. …

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  • Vacation rentals & insurance: Sharon Fox-Slater

    For many landlords with property in cities and prime holiday locations, the lure of the short-stay accommodation market is strong. Some choose to rent their property to holidaymakers, others may look for a corporate lease. Some have their property available to rent all the time, and some switch, looking to cash in during peak season. Although the financial rewards can be lucrative, …

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  • (Rental) House Rules: Sharon Fox-Slater

    When it comes to Rental House Rules, rule number one is don’t DIY, cautions Sharon Fox-Slater. Seduced by the plummy tones of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (aka LLB) or the ocker Scottie Cam, the return of home renovation shows like House Rules and The Block is often a siren call to would-be DIYers. And while picking up the power tools at their own home is one thing, …

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  • How to Grow From Reviews to Referrals: Kasey McDonald

    Nothing will destroy a rent roll quicker than a slew of bad referrals and an army of online haters. In the face of such a demanding job as property management, how exactly do you safeguard your department from bad reviews and create a healthy tribe of promoters to grow your business through referrals? It’s a question I often get asked by perplexed principals and property managers who find themselves in damage control when they start losing properties due to poor management. …

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  • A secure rental can mean a secure tenant: Sharon Fox-Slater

    One in 40 Australian homes are burgled each year, sending a clear message to landlords and agents about the importance of security at rentals, says Sharon Fox-Slater. Home burglary is one of the most widespread crimes in Australia with more than 300,000 break-ins recorded each year, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology. This sobering statistic coincides with a number of new initiatives that shine a spotlight on the provision of security at rentals. …

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  • Kasey McDonald: How Many Properties Can A Property Manager Manage?

    It is a question I get asked all the time, and not just by property managers either. In fact, if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me this million-dollar question, I’d no doubt be sipping mojitos on a tropical island in early retirement! I even found myself discussing this topic on stage last month when I presented at the PM Grow Summit event in the US. …

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  • Sharon Fox-Slater: When weather goes bad

    Seven cyclones – Hilda, Irma, Joyce, Kelvin, Linda, Marcus and Nora – have battered communities across northern Australia in the last four months. Add in storms and flooding in Northern Queensland and numerous bushfires devastating properties in southern Australia, including parts of the NSW Far South Coast and south-western Victoria in the last couple of weeks alone. It’s been an awful disaster season and Mother Nature has certainly kept the insurance industry on its toes. …

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  • Kylie Maxwell: The Wisdom of Hindsight

    For many, starting a career in property management can be a steep learning curve, with poor training and lack of experience making for a difficult introduction to the industry. Transform Masters 2017 Champion Kylie Maxwell looks back over her 25 years and tells us what she wishes she knew when she first started out in property management. Some 25 years ago I embarked on my property management career. …

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  • The Executive Property Manager: Sarah Bell

    IN THE SALES ARENA, we have seen the emergence of Agent 2.0 and 3.0 (are we up to 4.0?) as the value of a sales agent has changed with technology and evolving customer expectations. The new breed of agents are true professionals, unrecognisable from the stereotypes which placed real estate among the least trusted of all professions. So where does that leave property managers? …

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  • Disaster season and landlord insurance: Sharon Fox-Slater

    Beaches, barbies, budgie-smugglers…and bushfires. The image of summertime in Australia may be one of sun-drenched beaches and swimming in warm water, carefree holidays and lazy days that culminate in spectacular sunsets, but sadly the reality does not always live up to that postcard image. The summer months are when our nation often bears the brunt of Mother Nature’s wrath. The risk of cyclones, …

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  • The Proof Is In the Pudding: Michelle Williams

    Do you ever consider that, in the eyes of our potential clients, we all look the same? From the consumer’s lens, they can’t see any difference between us until we can prove them wrong. If you haven’t already noticed, our new potential clients start with social proof. They no longer do the ring-around and attend back to back meetings to interview agents; …

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  • Safety Tips for Property Managers with Fiona Blayney: Part 3

    TRANSCRIPT Welcome back to Episode 3 of our safety and risk management in the workplace. Today we’re going to speak about technology and the importance of having, at a base minimum, one tracking system to ensure that we physically know where you are at any one time in the office. Now I know it can feel all Big Brother-ish, and people are going to be checking up on you all the time. …

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  • Safety Tips for Property Managers with Fiona Blayney: Part 2

    TRANSCRIPT Welcome back to our second episode around safety in the workplace. I’m going to speak with you about what to do when you’re actually on site and that gut instinct, that fight or flight mode really kicks in. At the risk of creating havoc in your office with Fiona Blayney telling the world that if you don’t feel safe, you nee to exit that building. …

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  • Safety Tips for Property Managers with Fiona Blayney: Part 1

    TRANSCRIPT Hi. I’m Fiona Blayney, the CEO and Founder of Real+. Today, I’m here to talk with you over the next three sessions about that all important yet sometimes avoided topic of safety. There’s been heightened awareness around safety in the workplace by some very unfortunate circumstances of our colleagues in New Zealand in recent weeks. It’s important not to be alarmed, …

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