Property maintenance: our top tips and checklist for landlords

Last updated on January 30, 2024
Purchasing an investment property is a big financial decision. That’s why devoting time and money to maintain a rental property is crucial in preventing damage or deterioration.
man checking plumbing under a kitchen sink

Maintenance is an inevitable expense associated with owning an investment property – but it’s a cost that many first-time landlords overlook. Even brand new properties will require routine inspections and maintenance at some point, whether that’s for smoke alarms, kitchen appliances, plumbing and water heating, window coverings, or pools.

Consistently maintaining your investment property has many advantages outside of prevention of damage or deterioration. A well maintained property provides some tax benefits, as certain expenses relating to repairs can be claimed as tax deductions.

In fact, not paying enough attention to property maintenance can turn minor issues into major repairs – that may cost you more in the long run. A well maintained property is important for keeping your tenants happy and reducing turnover, meaning you won’t have to look for tenants as regularly and risk losing rental income in the process. Keeping your property in good condition isn’t just a responsibility that will help maintain its long-term value, making it easier to sell or move into in the future.

Managing regular maintenance of a rental property is a fundamental part of being a landlord. Having a checklist can help take the stress out and help you to stay on top of your property maintenance.

  • Understanding landlord responsibilities. Landlords have a duty to guarantee the safety of their rental property and its contents. This includes making sure landlord owned appliances are in good working order, and the structure of the property is well maintained. Resolving health threatening issues such as rising damp and mould is also the responsibility of the owner.
  • Document the property’s condition. Before each new tenant moves in, walk around the property and take photos listing anything that’s already damaged. This will help cover you if there’s a dispute with your tenants about damage. You’re also entitled to carry out routine inspections while your tenants are living there, but there are guidelines on how often you can visit your property outside of carrying out repairs. These vary depending on your state or territory.
  • Budget for the unexpected. Even new properties can experience unexpected damage or breakdowns, so setting some money aside can prepare you for sudden costs. You may be able to claim a tax deduction for repair and maintenance expenses associated with your rental property, so keep your receipts handy. Check out the ATO website for more information about what you can and can’t claim at tax time.
  • Have the right insurance. Allianz Landlord Insurance caters specifically to landlords. It’s designed to cover the cost of replacement or repairs if your investment property or its contents which you provide for your tenants use if they are damaged or destroyed by insured events. Before each new tenant moves in, consider checking that the amount you’re insured for reflects the actual cost of rebuilding or replacing at today’s prices. Landlord Insurance calculators can help you estimate these costs. Keeping on top of maintenance is also crucial for Landlords insurance as damage due to lack of maintenance or gradual wear and tear is a common policy exclusion.
  • Have a plan and stick to it. Use the following checklist to identify what needs to be done, and how frequently. Whether you’re carrying out the maintenance yourself, or organising it through a Property Manager, try to minimise disruption to the tenants as much as possible.

Having a regular maintenance schedule may help prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. This checklist can help keep your investment property in tip-top shape.

Monthly or Quarterly

  • Check all plumbing fixtures for leaks, water damage or mould
  • Replace broken light bulbs
  • Check locks
  • Inspect your fire extinguisher
  • Clean air conditioner filters and service if required
  • Clean clothes dryer vents and hose
  • Prune trees and shrubbery
  • Clean and clear debris from gutters
  • Check smoke alarms
  • Clean windows
  • Clean bathroom grout and caulk
  • Flush and check your water heater
  • Rake up leaves


  • Vacuum fridge coils
  • Check your chimney and fireplace
  • Check and replace smoke alarm batteries if needed
  • Inspect the roof for potential leaks or damage
  • Flush water heater
  • Gas inspection and test on appliances
  • Check condition of window coverings, wallpaper, and paint
  • Arrange for a termite and pest inspection if required
  • Clean your carpets professionally

As well as maintaining your property, having the right insurance in place is a way of covering you financially if your property is destroyed or damaged while it’s being rented. Landlord insurance is designed to cater specifically to investment property owners for insured events such as storm, fire and burglary. With Allianz Landlord Insurance, you may also be covered for additional benefits such as loss of rental income after an insured event.

With Allianz, you can choose to take out building cover, contents cover, or a combined policy. Building cover covers your building, garage, fences, and fixed domestic appliances, while contents cover covers items that are kept at your rental property for the use of your tenant. You may also be able to add optional cover to your policy such as flood, Landlord’s workers’ compensation to cover people employed to do work around your property and rent default and theft by tenant. Read more about our Landlord Insurance.

Investment properties can generate lots of additional expenses you may not have initially budgeted for. But by proactively staying on top of your maintenance, you can help keep your future repair bills low, your tenants happy, and as a bonus, retain your property’s value over time while setting competitive rental rates.

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

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