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Flooding affecting investors

By Staff Reporter
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Investors with properties in areas suffering from flooding and flood-related damage are ‘not angry’ and are well informed, according to a Sunshine Coast located body corporate group.

Archers Body Corporate director, Andrew Staehr, told Smart Property Investment that they’ve been communicating directly with investors to keep them aware of the state of their property in the area.

“They might be upset they’ve perhaps lost something, but they’re informed,” said Mr Staehr.

“We’ve also had to keep people updated or inform people about what is covered under body corporate insurance. We’ve got carpets flooding and contents damaged. People are saying, the water came from outside why doesn’t the body corporate cover it.”

The damage he has been seeing is diverse and includes water leaks that haven’t been seen in previous rain events due to the velocity of the wind speed, to “windows that have been popped inwards, that have jumped off their seals, and damaged lifts with water entering the lift shafts.”

One lift repair bill in a block of units is estimated at around $50,000.

“Almost every one of our buildings here on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane and the Gold Coast has some damage to a degree, whether it’s garden debris, or a building that is totally flooded,” Mr Staehr said.

Since 2011, the processes have been significantly improved, which is smoothing the ride for most affected investors.

“In the couple of days we’ve been on it, we’ve been able to communicate with clients on a regular basis. One important thing is to get in early to lodge the insurance claims, not waiting for quotes or things like that, just saying there has been damage, appoint an assessor. We’re just having problems with the lack of assessors," he said.

He expects the repairs will take some months and, as was seen in 2011, getting access to contractors will be difficult.

The Residential Tenancies Authority's general manager, Fergus Smith, told Smart Property Investment that while the tenant is responsible for removing or cleaning their own possessions, "The landlord is responsible for the maintenance and repairs needed to bring the property back to a liveable condition, including fences, gardens and pools. These repairs need to comply with health and safety laws."

For properties that have been partially damaged, and the tenant continues to live there, the landlord will need to arrange entry for repairs.

"Tenants and landlords can quickly end tenancy agreements for properties that are not considered liveable in the wake of the Queensland floods," Mr Smith said.

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