New Year’s Eve parties aren’t always the elegant affairs that tenants and landlords have in mind.

For those who are worried that some hardcore partying might do their property some serious damage, there are things you can do to protect your asset.

Landlord provider Terri Scheer Insurance executive manager Carolyn Parrella says tenants should be held responsible for anything caused by the tenant and their invited party guests.

‘New Year’s Eve parties that get out of hand can leave landlords susceptible to costly damage and clean up bills,’ Ms Parrella said.

Here are five ways landlords can protect themselves this New Year’s Eve.

1) Screen tenants

For those who are bringing in a new tenant last-minute, prevention is often better than cure.

‘Tenants are entitled to enjoy their time at the property, however it must be done with respect and consideration for the landlord,’ she said.

‘Including lifestyle questions on the lease application can help to identify and minimise future issues,’ she said.

This could include questions about activities undertaken at rental properties, whether they will have regular guests and also history-checks to identify past accidental damage that could have been due to rowdy parties.

2) Enforce the lease agreement

Outline your expectations upfront formally, in the rental contract, so there is no confusion about the minimum expectations.

‘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,’ Ms Parrella said.

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

3) Maintain relationships and communication

A positive, open and transparent relationship with tenants is critical.

‘Responding quickly to queries and concerns can help build a good rapport with tenants, making them more inclined to treat the property as though it were their own,’ she said.

Mutual respect is a powerful balm ahead of time when it comes to partying.

4) Conduct property inspections

Having a property manager undertake non-negotiable inspections scheduled before and after holiday season is a must.

‘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,’ she said.

‘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.’

5) Review insurance coverage

Checking your insurance coverage is useful as a last-resort in case you can’t prevent damage.

‘Too often property investors overlook risk management until after a tenant has moved in or when something has gone wrong,’ Ms Parrella said.

‘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.’

Posted by Jennifer Duke – Domain (Fairfax) on 29th December, 2015