New Pool and Spa Regulations in Victoria

Swimming pool rules and regulatons Victoria

New Laws to Improve Swimming Pool and Spa Safety

On 1 December 2019, new laws to improve swimming pool and spa safety came into effect in Victoria.

As of 1 December 2019, it will be mandatory for owners of the land where a swimming pool or spa is located, to register their pool or spa with their relevant council. In addition, owners are now required to obtain and lodge a compliance certificate for the safety of their pool or spa barrier every four years.
As summer begins and Australia starts to heat up, the Victorian government has introduced stricter pool regulations aimed at reducing child drownings.

The new mandatory safety regulations will apply to anyone with a private pool or spa with more than 30cm of water – and they come into effect this weekend.

From December 1 2019, owners will be required to register anything that falls above this threshold with their local council.

Government Statement

The Government has stated that “The new regulations require owners to register private pools and spas with their local council including, all permanent pools and spas and most relocatable ones capable of holding water to a depth greater than 30cm. If the inspection finds the barrier is non-compliant, the owner has up to 60 days to bring it up to code – serious cases of non-compliance will be referred directly to the council for follow up actions.

Owners will need to engage a registered building surveyor or building inspector to carry out an inspection and issue the compliance certificate.

Reducing Swimming Pool Risk

These rules may seem demanding but they are for good reason. In the last 19 years, there have been 27 deaths. Having a non-compliant pool resulted in 20 of these fatalities.

Once a pool or spa is registered, the local council will notify owners of the due date for the first certificate of pool barrier compliance. Owners are required to arrange an inspection and lodge the certificate with their local council by the due date.

SPASA Victoria CEO, Chris Samartzis, applauds the Andrews Government for bringing in this new legislation that will ensure the safety of all Victorians.

“Backyard pool and spa owners can now relax and enjoy the fantastic lifestyle that comes with pool and spa ownership, knowing that their wonderful asset will now be safer than ever. This legislation will help focus attention on a critical component of pools and spas. The regulations allow for a low-cost environment to deal with mandatory barrier inspections and we applaud the state government for a well thought out piece of legislation.” says SPASA Victoria CEO, Chris Samartzis.

Registration of pools and spas

Victorian backyard pool and spa owners have until 1 June 2020 to register their pool or spa with their local council. The maximum fee that a council can charge is $31.84.

For pools and spas constructed prior to 1 June 2020 that have an unknown construction date, an information search fee may be charged, up to a maximum of $47.24.

Pools and spas constructed after 1 June 2020 must be registered within 30 days after issue of an occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

Inspection and lodgement of the certificate of barrier compliance for pools and spas

  • For pools and spas constructed on or before 30 June 1994, a certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged by 1 June 2021
  • For pools and spas constructed between 1 July 1994 and 1 May 2010, a certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged by 1 June 2022
  • For pools and spas constructed between 1 May 2010 and 31 May 2020, a certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged by 1 June 2023

For pools and spas constructed on or after 1 June 2020, a certificate of barrier compliance is due within 30 days of an occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection. This certificate must accompany an application for registration. The next certificate of compliance is due four years after registration.

Hefty fines will apply for pool and spa owners who do not register their pool or spa.

The fee for lodging a certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance will be up to a maximum of $20.50, with certificates of compliance being required to be lodged once every four years.

Pool owners will have 60 days to bring their pools into compliance if an inspector identifies any non-compliant safety concerns.

These new regulations also introduce a new class of registered building inspector: Building Inspector (Pool Safety). This new class of building inspector will be limited to carrying out inspections and associated functions for the purposes of the new regulations only.

The state government introduced this new scheme after numerous coronial investigations found that un-maintained and non-compliant pool barriers had contributed to the deaths of children in backyard pools.

The Victorian Coroner recommended strengthened pool safety laws after investigating several drowning cases.

“As the peak body of the swimming pool and spa industry in Victoria, SPASA Victoria is delighted that these new safety measures will increase the enjoyment of pool and spa ownership for all Victorians”, said SPASA Victoria CEO, Chris Samartzis.

For more information visit www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/swimming-pools

Attention First Home Buyers in 2020

First home buyers grant Victoria

Multiple First Home Buyer Options

As of January 1, 2020, there are going to be many alternatives for first home buyers wanting to purchase a house. This year has seen record numbers of first home buyers entering the real estate market. In fact, this is the most first home buyers seen in over a decade. In the coming year, we anticipate this trend to continue in a positive direction.

It is every Australian’s dream to own their own home. Statistically, it takes up to 10 years of hard work and savings to reach the deposit target for your new home.

First home buyers VictoriaOn January 1, 2020, the Federal Government will be releasing the Loan Deposit Scheme. This is the Governments latest offering to first home buyers which has savings close to $10,000 just for Lenders Mortgage Insurance LMI. To qualify for this grant purchasers will require a 5 per cent deposit. If you are single your income cannot exceed $125,000 and if you are a couple the income threshold is $200,000. The property value ceiling for Melbourne and Geelong properties is $600,000 and $375,000 for regional Victoria.

Overseeing this scheme is the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation NHFIC. The first bank announced to the scheme is the National Australia Bank. There are to be other lenders named shortly.

The availability for this grant has been limited to 10,000 applicants. This represents just 10% of the expected first home buyers in 2020.

Other First Home Buyer Incentives and Options

Option 1 – The First Home Owner Grant of $10,000 is on the table if you buy or build your new home. Please note that if you are purchasing a home it can be no older than 5 years and must be the first time the home has been offered for sale. In regional Victoria, the First Home Owner Grant is $20,000 for new homes. To qualify for these grants the contract of sale must be prior to June 30, 2020.

Option 2 – In unison with the above grants is the exemption on stamp duty. You can claim the full stamp duty payable if you are going to live in the property and its value is no more than $600,000. There are other concessions if the property is valued higher than $600,00 but no greater than $750,000.

Stamp Duty Savings

  • $400,000 = $16,370.00
  • $450,000 = $18,970.00
  • $500,000 = $21,970.00
  • $550,000 = $24,970.00
  • $600,000 = $31,070.00

Option 3 – First Home Super Saver Scheme.

If you’re an eligible first home buyer, aged 18 or over, you can withdraw voluntary super contributions (which you’ve made since 1 July 2017) to put toward a home deposit.

Under the FHSSS, first home buyers, who make voluntary super contributions of up to $15,000 per financial year into their super, can withdraw these amounts (in addition to associated earnings / less tax) from their super fund to help with a deposit on their first home.

If you’re eligible, the maximum amount of contributions that can be withdrawn under the scheme is $30,000 for individuals or $60,000 for couples. So, your earnings are going to be more than enough to cover your 5% deposit on a $600,000 purchase and you can then take advantage of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme as well.

Here is a list of links to schemes available to first home buyers.

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation NHFIC

Stamp Duty Calculator State Revenue Office

First Home Owner

Difference Between Property Appraisals and Property Valuations

Property appraisal

Real Estate Appraisals vs Property Valuations

There are a lot of people unaware that there is a difference between a property valuation and a property appraisal. Naturally, you can assume that these two words are one and the same. However, legally there is a big difference when it comes to property and real estate. An appraisal is typically offered free of charge by a real estate agent as to their estimate of the property’s worth. A valuation by a registered valuer comes with a fee.
Property valuation vs Property Appraisal
By definition, an appraisal is an act of assessing something or someone.

valuation is: “an established, ethical and evidence-based process for assessing the monetary value of an asset at a specified date, that is legally defensible and undertaken by a qualified, professional Valuer.”

Who is more accurate in projecting the sale price?

Real Estate Agent – A real estate agent could be privy to information the valuer is unaware of. For example, an agent may have recently sold a home 2 doors down or 2 streets away. This sale may have been done by private treaty with the sale going to the highest bidder. The agent will know what other losing bidders were willing to pay for the home. So, if a house that comes on the market similar to the one just sold it would be safe to assume the agent has a fair idea of the expected bids.

Valuation – Commonly if a Court is involved in a dispute it may direct the parties to engage a registered valuer as a resolution. Or, the property may be part of a deceased estate. So a definite value would be required. There may be other reasons such as mortgage lenders being asked for finance. The owner must employ the services of a licenced valuer. On completion of this task, the valuer will furnish the client with a written report and an invoice to pay for their services.

Appraisal –  This is the professional estimate of the sales agent. It is to be considered as a reference to the expected price. This appraisal is generally based on recent sales and knowledge of the real estate trends in the local area. Appraisals do not stand up in court as they have no legal basis. An owner may simply want to know what their property is worth in the current climate. Or, they are wanting to sell and doing their due diligence and homework.

How To Stay Cool Without Using An Airconditioner

No airconditioner cooling

Simple cost-cutting Ways to keep cool this summer

1. Close your blinds

Approximately 30 per cent of a home’s heat comes from your windows. So, if you have curtains or blinds then it makes sense to close them. Not only will these save your money but will significantly lower the temperature of the room.  For extra points invest in black curtains as they block out the sun. Or you can use neutral coloured curtains with a white plastic backing.

2. Shut your doors

Closing doors, windows and curtains during the heat of the day can help the house stay cooler than outside. Ceiling fans provide air movement to make you feel cooler.

Opening the house as much as possible from late afternoon to early morning is beneficial if overnight temperatures will fall below your inside temperature.

3. Turn your fan into an Airconditioner

Find a bowl and fill it with ice or even an ice pack. Now place this iced container at an angle to your fan and feel the cool breeze. This is an excellent way to keep cool.

How to keep your home cool without an airconditioner

4. Swap your sheets and cool your bed

This is simple enough. Flannel and heavy blankets are good at retaining heat. On the other hand, cotton is able to breathe easier and therefore does not hold the heat as much. You may want to invest in a memory foam bamboo pillow that will keep you cool and comfortable. Alternatively you can purchase Chillow to put under your head while you sleep. For feet, you can fill and freeze a water bottle before placing it at the foot of your bed.

As we know heat rises. So, you may want to sleep in the lowest part of the house or put your mattress on the floor.

5. Setting the ceiling fans rotation
No air conditioner cooling
In summer have your ceiling fans run counter-clockwise. During the summer you want the fan to blow air straight down, so your ceiling fan needs to run in a counter-clockwise direction as you look up at it. The warmer it is, the higher the speed should be. Set at a higher speed, the fan’s airflow will create a wind-chill breeze effect that will make you feel cooler.

6. Cool your own body

Try placing cold cloths on parts of your body that pulses such as your neck and wrists. Wear clothing that is light and made of fabrics such as cotton that breathe. Also, try keeping a bowl of cool water by your bed and dipping your feet if you feel warm in the middle of the night.

7. Turn on your bathroom fans.

Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans are designed to extract warm air. Turning these on can reduce the amount of hot air.

8. At night let in the air

Once the temperature begins to fall ventilate the home by open windows and doors. As demonstrated in the video having a fan sucking out warm air from one corner of the house can help cool the home quickly. This creates a wind tunnel to force the perfect cross breeze.

9. Change to LED Lights

If you have incandescent lights then change them to LED. LED bulbs use over 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. At low power levels, the difference is larger. Bright LED flood lamps use only 11 to 12 watts while creating a light output comparable to a 50-watt incandescent. Incandescent lights by way of their design emit heat.

10. Start cooking outside

Naturally, if you are using your oven or stove then you are going to heat the home. So, if you have an outdoor cooker then take advantage of it. Plus it can always be a bit more fun when the family uses this style of cooking.
15. Make a few long-term improvements.

Some people just don’t like airconditioning. If you are one of these then a couple of suggestions may help. Try insulating your windows with film as they work similarly to blinds. Environmentally you may want to plant some trees that can help shade your home.

Boost Your Property Value With Solar Panels

roof solar panels

Adding solar panels can not only save you money but increase buyer attention if you are thinking of selling.

From simple paint jobs to full renovations, the objective is to offer something that the other houses down the road simply can’t.
Rooftop solar panels

One of the best ways to gain an advantage over the rest of the properties on the market is to show buyers that your home is more energy-efficient. Not only does this mean cheaper to run, but also with less of an impact on the environment. This is where solar panel installation comes in, and in this article, we’ll be looking at what makes them such a smart property renovation.

Solar panels add value

If we were to look back 5 years the thought of adding solar panels may have seemed a little too expensive. The cost of the panels and installation was just too high. Fast forward to 2019 and you will notice that these costs have fallen. This price reduction has encouraged many homeowners to install solar panels and generate their own power. For property buyers in Melbourne, there are all sorts of legitimate reasons to purchase a home that already has solar panels installed.

Solar panels will increase buyer attention when the property is placed on the market.

As the technological advancements in the making of solar panels progress there should be an upturn in the number of households installing the equipment.

The main reason to install solar panels is to save money. Secondly, the environment also gets a benefit. I expect that in the future the design of solar panels will be incorporated into the look and feel of the home for aesthetics.

Australia is a sun-drenched nation more so than most counties. Taking advantage of this makes sense in having solar energy. Cutting emissions in any way possible is going to benefit the sustainability of the earth. So, if you are selling your property as “green” this will be a high advantage.

Put simply solar panels save money.

There is no shortage of benefits to installing solar panels. There is a cost to property owners if you go down this path. However, if you plan to stay in your home for the long haul then you will no doubt save a lot of money. The most current research suggests that it will take 6 – 7 years before you start saving money. If you are still in your home after 25 years your savings will be over $100,000!

Not all solar panels are the same

Before you decide to go down the solar panel path do your research. Not all solar panels are made the exact same way. Fortunately, there are forums that do all the research for us. Choice has written an article How to buy the best solar panels for your home This article will explain what you need prior to purchase. You can also visit clean energy reviews which lists the best manufacturers including LG and Sunpower.

Australia is a leading developer in the technology of solar power. Australia has more solar radiation per square metre than any continent. If you are contemplating adding value to your home solar energy could be for you.

If you want to know the value of your home, contact OBrien Real Estate today.

How to Create a Kids Backyard

Childs backyard

Great Ideas for Children’s Backyards

The average city-suburban block has gotten smaller over the years. Gone are the days of the quarter-acre block. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average size home has three bedrooms and the land measures 474 square metres. There are 6 million families in Australia. Families with children under the age of 15 represent 30.64% of this number. With this in mind, it would make sense to utilise the outdoor space you have that can accommodate all the family. If you want your children playing outside then create a space that will exercise both their mind and body. Here are some ideas on how to entertain your children and also make it inviting for their friends to come over and play.

Childrens backyard ideas
Sandpits
Building a sandpit is a simple task. All you need is a border and then you can fill it with sand. The ideal setting would be in the corner of the backyard or up against the fence. Introduce some shovels, rakes, buckets and assorted toys. Children love playing in the sand. They can sit there for hours and are easily entertained especially if they have a friend or sibling with them. If you really want to get creative you can add in some pvc pipes that they can talk through.

Chalk Board
Attach your chalkboard above the sandpit. Purchase some stencils and chalk in a variety of colour and let your child’s imagination grow. We would also suggest you create a cover for your sandpit.
Spider web swing
Spider Web Swings
If possible hang a spider web swing or nest swing from a tree branch or you can purchase this item that stands freely. The spider web swing has no hard edges and can hold more than one child. It is also comfortable and can act as a hammock.

Climbing Wall and Slide
The climbing wall coupled with a slide is a great way for your children to develop physically. Having a netted wall to climb that rewards the child with a slide once they reach the summit is a great idea.

Basketball Ring
Basketball is excellent for deloping hand to eye co-ordination. You can attach the ring to your climbing wall and as they grow you can increase the height.
Climbing wall and slide
These are 5 simple ideas that don’t require a large expense and don’t require much space. They will serve to add hours of entertainment and at the same time provide fitness whilst stimulating the child’s brain.

How To Avoid The Pitfalls Of Underinsurance

Pitfalls of property underinsurance

Underinsurance is rife among Aussie property owners, landlords and tenants.

According to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), eight in 10 homeowners and renters are insured for less than their home and contents would cost to replace (or have no insurance at all).
This article was written by EBM RentCover and was originally published here.

Having cover in place is invaluable when things go wrong, but policyholders need to understand their insurer may only fully respond to a loss when the right type and amount of cover has been selected.

A head’s up for renters

Did you know? the ICA estimates that two-thirds of all renters don’t have any contents insurance.

Many renters think their landlord’s insurance will cover their possessions too, but it is a misunderstanding that could prove costly. Landlord cover only applies if the policyholder is found to be liable for the tenant’s losses. To protect their possessions, tenants need their own contents insurance (like TenantCover).

Tips for landlords

At EBM RentCover, we work to educate clients so they understand the value of landlord insurance – and can make the best decisions about the cover they purchase. We never want you to risk being underinsured, so here are four tips for landlords:

Assess your risks

Identify the things that could possibly go wrong and the likelihood of these occurring and their potential impact. Then, compile a list of items you would not be able to afford to cover yourself, should something go wrong. For example, ask yourself if you could afford to pay your mortgage if the tenant stopped paying their rent?

Determine the type of cover needed  

It is important to select a policy that is suitable for the type of property and the way it is rented. For example, home and contents policies typically offer protection for insured events such as fire and storm. However, they often do not cover loss of rent and tenant damage.

Example: A tenant suffers a job loss and stops paying rent for six weeks before unexpectedly moving out of the property. Upon inspection, it was discovered there was malicious damage to the walls, including two large holes in the hallway.

Landlord insurance policy Home and contents policy
Rent default up to six weeks Covered Not covered
Loss of rent during repairs Covered Not covered
Malicious damage Covered Not covered

In addition, if you own an apartment, villa or unit (a strata-titled property), the body corporate may insure the building and common areas in the property – including common hallways, garden and driveway. Because these are covered through the body corporate, many landlords assume they do not need to purchase insurance themselves – this is not the case. The body corporate does not offer protection for unit contents including non-fixed appliances, furniture and electronics, and does not offer protection for loss of rent or legal liability.

Ensure the sum insured is adequate

Did you know? the ICA estimates that more than 40 per cent of households fail to correctly assess the value of their home and contents?

Many owners inadvertently find themselves underinsured simply by underestimating how much it would really cost to replace their investment property and its contents. The ICA suggests the property is underinsured if an insurance policy covers 90 per cent or less of the rebuilding costs.

Remember building costs and standards change and you need to base your sum insured on the amount it would cost to rebuild the property (not on the original purchase price). Engage a quantity surveyor, builder or sworn independent valuer to get an accurate estimate. And don’t forget to factor in other expenses such as demolition, debris removal, and architectural, engineering and council costs.

When it comes to the sum insured for contents, make an inventory of the property within the rental that you own and ensure the replacement costs are up-to-date.

Review and update your policy

Did you know? the ICA estimates one-third of owners risk underinsurance by not updating their contents policies to cover new possessions?

Regularly review the sum insured to make sure it remains adequate (and not just at renewal time, but if your circumstances change). If you renovate the property or upgrade any contents (including appliances), make sure you still have enough insurance cover to account for these improvements.

Sadly, incidents of underinsurance are most commonly picked up on large loss claims and there can be lasting negative ramifications for the landlord (and, as a consequence, for their PM and tenants), ranging from putting them in significant debt, to repairs never going ahead and the property just sitting there in its damaged state.

At EBM RentCover we care about your property so if you have any question about underinsurance please contact us.

Now you have a better understanding about the pitfalls of underinsurance, check out the EBM RentCover range of products to find suitable protection for your property.

*While we have taken care to ensure the information above is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances and legislation after the displayed date may impact the accuracy of this article. If you need us we are there, contact 1800 961 017 if you have any questions. 

Sell My Investment Property

Sell my investment property

Investment Property Sales Considerations

Investment properties are generally sold in one of two ways: as a voluntary sale or as a forced sale.

A voluntary sale

If you’re considering selling your investment property, it is worth calculating the cost of keeping it. Layout all monthly and quarterly outgoings – with interest payments, rates, body corporate, and agent’s fees being the most obvious. Add the little extras that always seem to pop up, such as the annual fees for insurance and smoke alarms. With an older property, make an allowance for ongoing maintenance costs.
Sell my investment property
Then calculate the gross return, which is the total of rent collected, and is the figure often quoted in marketing and investment literature. But go further and calculate the net return – that is, the gross rent minus the costs. This is the figure that helps with your “sell or keep” decision.

This will give you either a cash surplus or a cash deficit, and that tells you whether your property is positively or negatively geared. The clue is in the names: a positively geared property makes a profit; a negatively geared property makes a loss.

At the time of writing, you can offset the losses on a negatively geared property against other income to reduce your tax liability. But bear in mind investment legend Noel Whittaker’s golden rule about negative gearing: “Always judge an investment on its merits – any tax benefits should be regarded as the cream on the cake.” That’s a wise policy, considering tax benefits can change on a government whim.

If the cost of keeping the property outweighs the benefits, then the case to sell has been made.

A forced sale

There are situations when an investor is forced to sell.

The reality of residential property investment is a tale of everyday people having a go. Most property investors are normal people with average salaries. Sometimes things go wrong: employment or business opportunities change, tenants get in arrears, and properties always need maintenance.

If you are forced to sell, there is one primary consideration that has the greatest effect on the outcome: should the sale occur with the tenant in place, or should the tenant be moved out?

If you’re forced to sell and time is critical, there may be no choice but to sell with a tenant in place. In this case, you must address some potential dangers.

With tight finances and a sale on the horizon, the first step is to minimise repayments, to give yourself breathing space. Most banks will negotiate with an owner in financial distress when it comes to suspending or reducing repayments. But even though banks might be accommodating with payments, realise that interest will continue to accrue, and your debt will continue to grow.

Next, check the lease. You can terminate a periodic lease at any time with the correct notice. But with a fixed-term lease, the tenant is entitled to stay until the end date, regardless of ownership or financial circumstances. If a sale is looming and a lease expires, instruct the agent to keep the tenancy on a periodic lease. Don’t be tempted with a further fixed term, which will keep the tenant in place and rent coming in but makes the property harder to sell.

If there is a long-term lease in place, you can either see out the tenancy or sell with the tenant in place. With a tenant in place, any buyer for the property must be willing to inherit the tenancy. That means you’re narrowing the buyer pool to investors only, and thus reducing the selling price.

Alternatively, with effective negotiation, tenants on fixed-term leases may agree to move out, compensation such as moving costs or a cash incentive will often help.

A rogue tenant with sub-standard presentation who creates issues with buyer inspections makes a property very difficult to sell. Buyers often don’t give such properties the same consideration they give a vacant or well-cared-for property.

Depending on circumstances, you can give notice and wait for the lease to expire, or (if possible) have the rogue tenants removed for breach of tenancy. After the tenant vacates, restore the property through hard work and repairs. If a rogue tenant isn’t – or can’t be – moved, the price will reflect the tenant and the condition of the property. That is, it will be significantly lower than expected.

On the flip side, a good tenant caring for the property assists when selling, so consider offering compensation such as a reduced rent as a goodwill gesture – and your tenant will often repay that goodwill by cooperating with you on the sale. They make inspections easy and keep the property in shape.

10 Landlord Insurance Myths – Debunked!

10 landlord insurance myths

Landlord insurance is complicated.

It is an industry bound by complex laws and regulations and offers cover only in very specific circumstances that can be quickly undone by technicalities. At EBM RentCover, we do things a little differently and are debunking many typical landlord insurance myths.

This article was written by EBM RentCover and was originally published here.

MYTH 1 – My claim won’t be paid

The big bad insurance company is a popular villain. However, at EBM RentCover, our reputation and future success are built upon a foundation of integrity and honesty (and ultimately honouring appropriate claims submitted by clients). In fact, in the past 12 months, we have paid out more than $20 million in claims.

MYTH 2 – It’s too expensive

RentCover Ultra premiums start at just $265 per annum. That is extra protection for your property, for the approximate cost of a large coffee a day. If you still think it is too costly, you may wish to look into how much more expensive it is to restore a home in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

MYTH 3 – Landlord insurance doesn’t cover accidental damage by the tenant

Some policies exclude accidental damage as a whole or offer minimal cover and high excesses. RentCover Ultra provides cover for tenant damage to contents and building, including malicious and accidental up to $65,000 (with an excess of $400 per event).

MYTH 4 – Pets living in properties aren’t covered

The high risk of damage by animals is a key reason landlords say ‘no’ to pets. However, that risk can be mitigated with EBM RentCover policies, offering protection for damage caused by domestic pets living on the premises, including those not named on the lease.

MYTH 5 – The cheapest policy is best

There are many reasons premiums vary from insurer to insurer and policy to policy, including the amount of cover, the sum insured, excess and limits. When looking for an adequate insurance policy, it is suggested a decision is based on value and need, not price.

MYTH 6 – It’s unnecessary and I’m unlikely to make a claim

If you are fortunate, you may never make a claim against your insurance. However, accidents and unexpected disasters can, and often do, occur. When you are involved in the unpredictable, it is important to have protection for your investment.

MYTH 7 – Insurers won’t cover the cost of meth contamination clean-ups

Insurance coverage for the cost of meth contamination clean-up depends on the individual insurer and the specific policies they offer. RentCover Ultra provides up to $65,000 to cover the cost of cleaning a drug-contaminated property if the damage is caused by tenants during the period of insurance, along with other costs incurred, such as loss of rent while the property is repaired.

MYTH 8 – Tenants must be on a fixed-term lease in order to claim

Many policies require a fixed-term lease to be in place at the time of a loss, however, RentCover Ultra and RentCover Platinum continue to pay loss of rent claims on periodic leases.

MYTH 9 – I’m covered for everything

Policies vary in the cover offered. It is important to assess your property and personal circumstances to determine the risks and whether your insurance aligns with your needs. For example, RentCover Ultra provides landlord contents insurance, whereas RentCover Platinum combines landlord, contents and building.

MYTH 10 – The body corporate already insures my property

The body corporate may be required to insure the building and common areas in a strata-titled property, however, the moment someone steps inside your home, you may be responsible for negating a number of risks. Risks include liability should someone injure themselves inside your premises and damage to the contents.

Now you have a better understanding of landlord insurance, check out the EBM RentCover range of products to find suitable protection for your property.

*While we have taken care to ensure the information above is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances and legislation after the displayed date may impact the accuracy of this article. If you need us we are there, contact 1800 961 017 if you have any questions. 

Present Your Home For Sale

Preparing your house for sale Keeki

Selling your home but where to start?

We know that putting your property on the market can be a very stressful time. With so much going on, it may be overwhelming to think about the physical changes your home needs. However, when selling a home, a few minor touch-ups can make a huge difference and go a long way towards making a favourable impression on potential buyers. Let us tell you the few small things you can do to achieve an amazing result.

Prepare your home for sale Keeki

Boosting Your Curb Appeal
While you may focus on perfecting the look of your properties’ interior, the first thing buyers see will be its exterior. A good first impression is essential when selling your property as many potential buyers are likely to be put off by a poorly maintained front garden.
Exterior home presentation

Quick Tips:

  • Mow the grass, trim the hedges
  • Add fresh mulch to the garden beds
  • Trim any overgrown bushes or trees
  • Clean driveways and paths
  • Remove cobwebs and weeds in the guttering
  • Ensure the paths and driveway are clear

Simply adding a row of potted flowers to your front yard brings light and colour to the property and makes the property feel more like a home that the buyer can envision themselves in. Make sure your homes’ exterior looks as beautiful as the inside – curb appeal is important, and you want to maximise this to attract potential buyers.

Cleaning
Be prepared to invest a little bit of your time into ensuring that your property is clean and fresh. To ensure the best possible first impression; dust benches and furniture, polish appliances and tap wear, vacuum and steam clean carpets, steam and clean the grout of your flooring. Pull back the curtains, clean the windows and let the light in. Your buyers will be drawn to a bright, fresh feel.

Preparing your home for sale

Freshen Up

While brightly coloured walls may be appealing to you, they do not appeal to everyone. Having neutral coloured walls will appeal to a wider range of buyers and allows potential buyers to imagine what they could do with space without any restrictions. A fresh coat of paint also adds to the feel of fresh and cleanliness that buyer’s desire.

Quick Tips:

  • Repair cracks or holes in walls
  • Replace any globes that aren’t working and replace with warm tone globes
  • Remove broken fly screens
  • Replace any mouldy seals in the kitchen or bathroom

Depersonalise and Declutter

Every person who walks through your door will have a different opinion and preference for décor, so our best advice is to keep it simple. You don’t want to detract from your homes’ gorgeous features, so if you’re not using it, store it. Takedown your personal touches and photos, it’s time for the buyer to envisage their life and family in this home. Remove personal items from bathrooms and all the decorations from the fridge. It’s also important for your buyers to see clever use of space. Maximise every inch of your asset.

Declutter your home for sale Keeki

You want your rooms to feel open and inviting, if the room feels cramped it will look smaller than it is. Take away an armchair or glass cabinets that are not needed as this will make a big difference. keekï’s in-house stylists are experts and know what will help you achieve the best result and we can ensure your property creates an emotional connection for your buyers. From styling an empty home, through to adding elements to an existing property … furnishing your property with on-trend furniture and homewares will deliver results. Along with our full property styling service, keekï Property Styling also offers Pre-sale consultations that are best suited for if you need advice on presenting your property to market. This service would help you if you have lived in your property for many years and need that extra advice on how to maximise your sale price and present your home in the best possible light for photos and open inspections. keekï consultations give you a starting point and a clear plan on what you can do yourself to prepare your property for sale. This service involves walking through your property room by room and giving you the confidence to prepare for the sale.

A 1-hour consultation fee is $150.00 and if you would like further assistance to pull it together, we offer flexible, hands-on Styling Service charged at an hourly rate of $150.00 per hour, giving you the flexibility to decide how much or how little assistance you require. Transform your properties into a beautiful, marketable home ready for sale, rent or display.
Book your consultation today Keeki home styling and design.