Top Plumbing Checks to Get Your Property Ready for Rent
Ready to start renting out your investment property? Or perhaps you’re moving away and want help paying off the mortgage on your family home? Either way, becoming a landlord is a great way to make money off a property while it’s not in use.
However, the process isn’t as simple as merely finding a tenant and handing over the keys.
Although the details differ from state to state, Australian laws dictate a property must be safe and fit for a tenant to reside in. Among many other things, that includes ensuring the plumbing is up to scratch.
But simply abiding by government regulations isn’t enough. Take the time to minimize potential issues to save you time and hassle further down the track.
In this article, we’ll look at the crucial things you should check to make sure the plumbing in your property is safe and fit to rent.
Check Your Pipes
Ensuring your pipes are in working order is an obvious and crucial step. Thoroughly check all the potential weaknesses in your home, either by yourself or hire some plumbing contractors for the job. Fix any issues as soon as you notice it.
The most vulnerable spots in your home are likely to be your Flexi Hoses.
Take a Look at Your Gutters and Drainpipes
As with your internal pipes, you want to make sure your external pipes are in good working order too.
Gutters and drainpipes are specially designed and strategically placed to prevent water from pooling outside your home. If they become blocked, your property could get flooded which might cause mould or other damages.
Thankfully, the solution is fairly simple: clean out your gutters and unblock your drainpipes twice a year. Do this before your tenants move in and establish who is responsible for future cleaning in your leasing agreement.
Check Your Flexi Hoses
As the name infers, these are flexible hoses that plumbers can twist and turn to fit just about anywhere. Although these stainless steel contraptions with a rubber inner tube are a godsend in the construction industry, they’re also one of the most common causes of flooding in a family home.
Over time, the hoses suffer from wear and tear and will need replacement. Furthermore, incorrect installation such as being too tight or too loose can cause them to rupture.
- Install a Flexi Hose Flood Stop Isolating Valve
- Replace your Flexi Hoses at least every 5 years or follow the manufactures instructions
- Get a certified plumber to install the hose
- If you are unsure who did the job, get a certified plumber to check it
- Instruct your tenants to turn the water off at the mains when going away
Ensure You’ve Got a Tempering Valve and That It’s Working Correctly
Almost all hot water units have a tempering valve these days. If yours doesn’t, then go out and buy one straight away.
Once you’ve established it’s there, you want to make sure it’s set at 50°C. Even if it is, use a thermometer to double check as the device can sometimes malfunction.
Having it set to 50°C is mandatory under Australian law and will remove the chance of your tenant getting scalded by boiling water, which could result in a lawsuit. If in doubt, get your plumber to check it out.
Get Your Water Efficiency Compliance in Check
If you’re passing the water costs onto your tenant, then you have a legal obligation to ensure the mandated water efficiency measures are in place.
These measures vary from state to state, so check out the relevant government website or ask your plumber to confirm them.
For example, in Queensland, shower heads and taps are permitted a maximum output of 9 litres per minute. Furthermore, toilets must be dual flush and must not exceed 6.5 litres on full flush and 3.5 for a half flush.
If you’re including water in your rent, then this step isn’t strictly necessary. However, it’s still a good idea to help you save money as well as this precious natural resource.
Put Exhaust Fans in Your Bathrooms
Installing an exhaust fan in your bathroom prevents your tenants from suffering through unwanted smells.
From a maintenance point of view, it’s also a good idea to avoid the build-up of mould, which can be extremely expensive to fix. Mould flourishes in moist environments, which can occur in the bathroom from steam created by hot showers. Simply turning on a fan will immediately flush out steam and reduce your risk of mould. Although there’s no legal obligation to install a fan, it’s a sensible thing to do.
Following these simple steps will get your plumbing ready for your new tenants, allowing you to comply with legal obligations, save money through efficiency, and reduce the risk of plumbing or home maintenance disasters further down the track.
Although these may cost you a little up front, they’ll likely save you a significant amount of money in the long term.