Landlord/Tenant Q&A: Catherine M. Matthews (R), GRI
CATHERINE M. MATTHEWS (R), GRI
Broker-In Charge, Callahan Realty, Ltd.
Past President, Oahu Chapter
National Association of Residential Property Managers
Q. I just bought two rental properties: a small single family home and a condominium. I want to be sure I get the right type of insurance coverage. Do you have any suggestions?
A. All insurance is not created equal even when you think you are doing everything you can to protect yourself. The fi rst thing to do is contact a trusted, licensed insurance agent who can guide you through the process.
With regard to your condominium, you want to be sure to familiarize yourself with State Condominium Law, HRS 514B-143 which allows your association (through its Board of Directors) to hold each unit owner responsible for the deductible amount of the association’s policy if their unit causes damage to others or common elements. If the unit owner does not pay, the association can assess the amount and place a lien to foreclose on the property. Your condo association’s policy will begin coverage once the deductible is exceeded. Be sure the coverage in your personal policy matches the deductible amount.
Additional questions to ask your insurance agent are:
Is mold covered? Some companies provide coverage as a standard part of their policy, others provide no coverage, and some do but only if you ask and add it to your policy.
Are you covered for rental reimbursement if your tenants are displaced while you make repairs due to a covered claim? Do you have coverage in case of a hurricane? Should you consider fl ood insurance? Even if you are not in a fl ood zone as defi ned by the State or County, you may want to consider fl ood insurance if you live in a wet area or a hillside. The defi nition of a fl ood to an insurance company is different than in my mind and probably yours too. Ask your agent if there is anything additional they think you may want to consider.
The Oahu Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers recognizes that many local owners choose to manage their own properties. We also realize that it is hard to keep up with the new laws, obtain current forms that reflect change, and get personal advice.
Our 10th Annual Property Management Seminar, coming up on Tuesday, August 18, will address the concerns and answer the questions of property owners who manage their own rentals. The seminar is also useful for professionals looking for accurate information and guidelines to ensure they are on the right track. This year we will concentrate on disaster preparedness in rental properties.
The seminar will feature Sue Savio, President of Insurance Associates, who will educate us on being prepared for the unexpected with our insurance coverages. Doug Mayne, with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, will speak about being prepared for a disaster. Keith Kamita, with the HPD Narcotics Division, will educate on us on the new medical marijuana laws as they relate to rental properties. Corporal Everett Higa, with the HPD Community Policing Team, will teach us how to avoid scams and protect ourselves from identity theft. Professional Property Managers Bill Ramsey (B) and Mark Stewart (B) will lead a discussion of the Landlord Tenant relationship as relates to issues that pose risk.
At the end of the presentations, our panel of speakers will answer questions from attendees about anything that relates to the topics of the day or property management in general.
In addition to all the valuable information, attendees also take away a binder that includes the forms needed for effective property management and current codes and laws. The popular binder is included in the seminar cost along with continental breakfast, three-course lunch, and parking.