Landlords have been reminded to take the necessary precautions to prevent them starting the new year with a property headache.

With the holiday season approaching, occasions such as New Year’s Eve parties are on the horizon and insurance agency Terri Scheer, which specialises in landlord insurance, have urged people to ensure their properties aren’t left in a state of disrepair.

While New Year’s Eve maybe only days away, Terri Scheer Insurance executive manager Carolyn Parrella said preventing party damage starts well ahead of time.

“Prevention is often better than the cure. Tenants are entitled to enjoy their time at the property however it must be done with respect and consideration for the landlord,” Parella said.

“Including lifestyle questions on the lease application can help to identify and minimise future issues. Does the applicant have regular visitors or guests? What type of activities will be undertaken at the rental property? Landlords can use such questions to help filter potentially troublesome tenants,” she said.

The start of a rental period is also a good time for landlords to clearly define what is and isn’t acceptable through the rental agreement.

 “A rental agreement may allow landlords to enforce noise restrictions, such as no loud music after 10pm, and a maximum number of guests at the property at any one time,” Parella said.

It’s a common oversight by landlords not to use the formal rental contract as a way to outline a tenant’s responsibilities.”

Parella also recommend rental inspections be scheduled before and after the holiday season.

“Regular inspections can provide early indications of a tenant that may fail to fulfil their rental agreement obligations if accidental or malicious damage is identified. Likewise, post-New Year’s Eve inspections can help identify any accidental damage incurred during the holiday season.

“This also shows the tenant that the landlord has an active interest in the care taken with their property and helps reinforce the conditions under which the tenant has leased the property.”

Perhaps most importantly, landlords have been reminded to have their insurance in order to make sure they’re not left out of pocket if the worst case scenario occurs.

“Too often property investors overlook risk management until after a tenant has moved in or when something has gone wrong.

“Maintaining a specialised landlord insurance policy can protect investors from the many risks associated with owning a rental property and provide peace of mind if the unforeseen should occur, such as malicious and accidental damage, loss of rental income and potential legal liability if someone is injured at the property.”