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How Landlords Should Handle Termite Concerns in Queensland – A Must-Read for Property Investors

Termites can silently ruin your investment, quickly turning a promising return into a financial disaster. To safeguard your investment, here are a few recommendations for all our investors:

1. Obtain a tax depreciation report.

2. Include lawn care in the rent agreement.

3. Invest in landlord insurance.

4. Conduct an annual termite inspection.

Termite problems are common, and we encounter them frequently.  The mere mention of termites can instil fear in buyers, being aware of the damage and knowing how to prevent their return is crucial.

In Queensland, it’s challenging to avoid termites as they attack in virtually all urban areas.  Despite the existence of over 300 termite species, the specific type may not matter much, as they all pose a threat as wood-munching pests. Many investors underestimate the potential damage termites can cause, so it’s crucial to take preventive measures seriously.

What Should Landlords Do About Termites in Queensland?

First, make sure to keep your investment safe. Termites can sneak in and eat away at it secretly. The tricky part is they’re really good at munching on hidden wood that we can’t see, so nobody will notice until it’s too late.

Annual Inspection

The simplest way to protect your investment is by having a termite inspection every year. This ensures that a professional checks your property at least once annually. However, keep in mind that termites can cause significant damage to your investment over 12 months. While we at Frank Property Australia look for obvious issues during routine inspections, we’re not trained to inspect behind walls where termites might be hiding. For better protection, you should consider something more effective, like a termite barrier.

With an annual inspection, if termites are found, they can be treated. The inspector will return about three weeks later to make sure all the termites have been eliminated.

Termite Barrier / Management System

When done correctly, a termite chemical barrier can last between 5 to 8 years. While the initial installation is expensive, it can be reapplied with chemicals at a more affordable cost every 5-8 years or sooner. Surprisingly, we often come across investment properties with termite barriers that haven’t been kept up to date. An expired barrier is an open invitation for termites.

If you’re wondering what to do next for your property, first determine if it has a termite barrier, and if so, check if it’s still valid. If it’s expired, consider updating it by having chemicals injected.

For a typical 4-bedroom home on a single-level concrete slab, installing a complete termite management system can take 1-2 days and cost between $1200-$4000. The pricing depends on various factors, such as the installation method. There are three methods: trenching for grass/garden areas, drilling for concrete/tiled areas, and a reticulation (piping) system, which can be installed in the same areas as trenching or drilling. Keep in mind that in Australia, it’s standard to have 12 monthly inspections each year to maintain the warranty provided by the chemical supplier, and the same applies to maintain the warranty on chemical barriers installed.