According to landlord insurance specialist Terri Scheer, the frequency of theft claims they received rose by 20% from the 2014/15 to 2015/16 financial years.
“From my experience, theft from investment properties is more common than landlords realise,” said Carolyn Parrella, executive manager of Terri Scheer Insurance.
The insurance firm has seen theft claims from the most common items – like television sets, washing machines, and refrigerators – to the most unusual ones, like an entire kitchen set.
Per Parrella, this is becoming a more common issue for rental properties leased to tenants fully or partly furnished.
“This can be very costly for landlords and leave them out-of-pocket when they have to cover the replacement costs,” she said.
“A specifically designed landlord insurance policy is the first step towards minimising any potential loss in the case of theft from your investment property.”
But aside from insurance, there are also other pre-emptive measures to minimise the financial burden of theft. Landlords are advised to record an inventory of all items in the property prior to leasing, and also keep photos or videos as proof of ownership for valuables. It will also help to conduct regular property inspections and appoint a rental manager who can check on the rental history of tenants.