When a natural disaster affects your rental

If the past few years have highlighted one thing, it’s that sometimes Mother Nature can serve up the unexpected. And that can have very real ramifications for a rental property.

So, what happens if a natural disaster affects the rental property you live in or the investment you own?

Here, we walk through what happens when a natural disaster affects your rental.

In the lead up

Some natural disasters come with forewarning, but others strike out of nowhere, simply appearing out of the blue.

If there is a warning that a natural disaster, such as a flood, fire or cyclone, is pending, the rental occupier should take reasonable action to ensure the property and their possessions are prepared.

Depending on what the event is, that might involve moving personal items to a safer location, or clearing the yard of outdoor furniture and other items in the instance of a cyclone.

The renter should also have their own plan in place for what they will do during the event if the situation continues to pose a threat.

After an event

If a rental property has sustained damage during a natural disaster, the rental occupier should contact the property manager as soon as possible, clearly outlining the extent of the damage and whether the residence remains inhabitable.

At this stage, the property manager will also be in contact with the property owner, keeping them updated on exactly what’s occurred and what happens next.

For all parties in this situation, it’s important to bear in mind the impacts of a natural disaster might be widespread and in some instances also affect the agency that manages the rental property.

The property manager might be handling a lengthy list of inquiries, but rest assured they are working hard to assist everyone and will be in contact as soon as possible

Handling insurance claims

After the rental occupier notifies the property manager that a residence has been damaged in a natural disaster, the first priority is to ensure the renter has somewhere safe and secure to stay.

Then the insurance process begins. The property manager works with the owner and renter to document all damage to the residence and also helps manage the repairs that need to be made.

This process can take time, and there are also steps involved when it comes to documenting that damage, having it assessed, cleaning up and organising any required quotes, then repairs.

Things to bear in mind

Recent natural disasters have highlighted just how important it is to have insurance for both the rental property and the renter’s possessions.

And here it’s important to remember the owner’s property insurance does not cover the items belonging to the renter.

Owner insurance (often referred to as landlord insurance) covers the building and damage to it. It may also extend to lost rent in the event of a natural disaster.

To protect their items, renters should take out their own contents insurance, which is designed to cover the loss and damage to their personal possessions.

Both these types of insurance should be taken out well before a natural disaster is pending, as often there are embargoes in place when an event is imminent.

How we can help

Our experienced property managers pride themselves on establishing great relationships with both rental occupiers and owners.

We manage every property as if it were our own and you can learn more about our property management services here.

Alternatively, if you are looking to rent a property, you can view the properties we currently have available here.