Summer is here and so is recreational meth use

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Summer is in the air - and in the temperature - as the December heat has been blazing. This time of year is when Kiwis are on the move, to visit relatives overseas or to take the chance for a tropical holiday.

For those who own holiday homes or properties in areas of high demand, a good way to pay off the Christmas expenditure is to rent your property as a short term let over the break.

Some people in sought after locations such as Mount Maunganui even take this opportunity to rent out their home while they stay nearby in a caravan.

Helping out the excessive credit card bill over the Christmas period is smart, but you do need to be aware of the effect on your insurance policy, and subsequent cover. Year round rental properties have a different form of home insurance – rental cover, which differs from owner-occupied policies. And of course different insurers have different rules.

Our advice is that if you’re thinking of renting out your property on a short-let basis over summer, chat to your insurance company first. They can tell you whether your current policy covers any damage, including meth use or contamination. If you are only going to rent out your property for a few weeks over Christmas, your existing policy may still cover this – although there are likely to be limits. This is because loss caused intentionally by tenants or guests is generally excluded. Although some policies do extend to provide some cover for intentional acts or vandalism, there is likely to be a limit on this.

If you are going to rent the house out more regularly, you might need to get a landlord policy. This is because the risk of contamination by use increases significantly due to the number of guests and lack of vetting process that letting out your property on sites like Airbnb entails. It’s a very different process from the credit checks and references required to rent a home on a longer term or fixed lease basis.

Making additional income from your main home or holiday property is handy, and although the chance of meth contamination seems low, it’s during the summer period that people like to party. To ensure your most valuable asset is covered, before you advertise your property for let, make sure you talk to your insurance company first.