Protecting Your Investment Property from Harm

Alberta accounts for six of ten of the most expensive years for weather related insurance claims according to the insurance bureau in a Jan 8, 2024 article posted by Lethbridge News Now. This isn’t new. In 2020, Alberta insurance damage costs topped two billion dollars in a single year. We know damage happens here with regularity and we work hard to protect our homes from it.

But what about our investment properties? Between 2011 and 2016, according to the Globe and Mail, rental properties accounted for 32% of the country’s new home purchases. In 2021, Statistics Canada reported that 40.4% of new housing became tenant occupied. Are tenants safeguarding these properties?

ServiceMaster of Lethbridge handles multiple tenant related calls every year. A tenant thought they could turn off the heat in the winter while they went away to save on heating costs…Another tenant left the tap running…Another tenant left a pot unattended on the stove…and so many other claims. We see these things regularly. You can’t guard against everything. But there are things you can do to help alleviate the risk at your property.

The importance of the walk through. Does your tenant know where the water shut off valve is? If they don’t, this can exacerbate the problem should a pipe burst or dishwasher/washing machine leak occur. Point out the location of all fire alarms, with a reminder that batteries should be changed every six months. You might even leave them a copy of our “Tips to Keep Your Home Safe” blog.

Know your insurance policy and insist that tenant’s also have insurance. A tenant’s insurance policy is relatively inexpensive and not only protects their possessions if something goes wrong, it also covers them for liability This protects you.

Send reminders for routine maintenance items. There are seasonal items that should be done to every property to protect it. See our blog “Winter is Coming…Prepare!” and “Preparing for Spring Melt and Rains”. If your tenant is not able or willing to do these items, you need permission to take care of them yourself.

Know the laws. ServiceMaster sees a fair number of claims for tenant vandalism. Sometimes it is malicious. Sometimes it is due to a medical condition such as hoarding. Sometimes people just do not know how to take care of a property. Regularly checking on the premises is both advised and legal.

These are just a few tips, sometimes things still go wrong. And when they do, call ServiceMaster of Lethbridge. We’ve been helping homeowners and tenants for over 30years in southern Alberta.