Most insurance policies do not cover (or severely restrict) damage to properties from termites.
Termites can enter a property and demolish significant parts of it in a short period of time, requiring tens of thousands of dollars in rectification work.
Principal of Wilson Haynes – solicitors, conveyancers and business advisors – Jim Wilson said: “Most people, when they buy a property or engage a pest controller, do not fully read the pest inspection reports and take note of the recommended action.
“Pest inspection reports are full of ‘outs’ for the pest controllers, reflecting the complexity and dynamics of the problem. A confirmation of termite infestation can change things rapidly.”
It is therefore important, when selecting a managing agent for your rental property, that you satisfy yourself that they have experienced staff who will be on top of what is happening on the property, including having the tenants report the first sign of anything unusual in the surroundings of the property or the interior walls.
Your managing agent should NOT let tenants:
- Place garden beds against walls;
- Place timber against the structure of the house;
- Construct temporary decks; or
- Most importantly – create permanent wet spots around the property.
Mr Wilson added: “Any legal action against your managing agent will be for negligence and will be referred to their professional indemnity insurer, who will fight long and hard not to pay out on the agent’s behalf. We are currently acting for an overseas property owner against the managing agent’s professional indemnity insurer – and it is a long and difficult process.”
Therefore, BE VIGILANT and work closely with your managing agent.
Thankfully, by far the great majority of managing agents are responsible and will care well for your property. This includes ensuring that reputable pest controllers are a part of their contracting team and communicating recommendations fully and effectively to property owners.
Nevertheless, vigilance is the best form of attack against termites!
WILSON HAYNES – solicitors, conveyancers and business advisors – provide expert advice on all commercial, property, wills and estates and family matters. For a FREE 30-minute appointment about your legal matter please call 07 5536 3055.