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Are you prepared for an act of nature at your investment property?

By Kate Nolan

We in the Top End had the pleasure of Cyclone Marcus who graced us with his presence last week,
as you can imagine for a Category 2 Cyclone there was a fair amount of damage that is still being
cleaned up a full week later. Large trees down, power lines down, cars damaged, houses damaged,
fences completely flattened and the list goes on.

When the storm calmed the phone calls began to flood in, lots of repairs, lots of damage and lots of
items to be taken care of and this got me thinking.. are you really prepared for a natural event such
as a cyclone at your investment property?

Lets take a look shall we?

Trees! I am the first person to say trees are a great addition to any garden but sadly some trees are
better than others when it comes to serious weather events such as cyclones, think about what you
have planted in your garden at the moment, any large trees may pose as a hazard in the climate we
live in so think about this, think about how they are positioned and where they might land in the
event of a cyclone. It is also a good idea to keep an eye on the health of trees in your garden, have
you noticed any trees deteriorating? Don’t leave it until it is too late, as soon as you see an issue
with any tree in your yard get it checked otherwise you will definitely have problems during a
cyclone. Another item to note is the checking of trees after a cyclone has occurred, these winds will
have now de-stabilised the tree and its roots so make sure you get this checked as soon as you can.

Debris; most if not all Darwin residents dealt with debris as a result of this cyclone, try not to add to
the pile with loose items in your yard, have a think about what you have in the garden and think if
they are really a necessity, if not you may want to consider removing them. Items such as heavy
plant pots, stone ornaments etc. can be very damaging if lifted by heavy winds so it may be best to
keep items such as these to a minimum.

Another forgotten area is shade sails, its always best to make arrangements during a weather
warning to have these taken down, contact your Property Manager and see how they can assist,
unfortunately shade sails are particularly susceptible to damage during a cyclone as they act as huge
wind catchers so it may be worth a thought the next time.

The big one! Landlord and Building Insurance! These insurance packages are a non-negotiable, you
need to have them! I heard on the radio last week that there were over 8000 claims to one
particular insurance provider as a result of this cyclone, imagine you didn’t have insurance but had a
damaged property, that is not a position you want to be in, your hard earned investment could
potentially be worthless if the damage is so severe that it is too expensive to repair. By doing the
sensible thing and having your insurance in place means you are covered for most things that may
come your way as a landlord.

Of course hind sight is a wonderful thing however the beauty of this is that your Property Manager
should be able to assist you with making your investment property cyclone ready, we have the
resources, the trades people and the know how to get the job done.

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