One of the common areas of concern for any landlord is property maintenance. The dreaded phone call from a tenant at an unusual time of day or night usually means that something has broken down or leaking. It is actually one of the main concerns that completely puts landlords off managing their own properties.
Truth be told, if your property is in a good state of repair then the unwanted calls you receive should be few and far between, it also depends if you rent out your property with white goods (fridge, freezer, washer). There are certain goods that you will have in the property, heating system,boiler,shower, fires, cookers that will be subject to repairs and maintenance from time to time but as long as the appliances are well maintained, (and annual inspections carried out as legally required) cleaned and looked after these shouldn’t cause too many issues.
As well as the appliances within the property there are also the fittings and sockets that need to be kept to a good standard of repair unique weed pipes. Whilst it is not as yet mandatory to have electrical testing carried out in residential lets, it is the duty of the property owner to ensure that the electrics for fixtures and fittings are in good working and safe order. No loose wires are visible no dodgy wiring, lights turn on when they should etc. This is something that the landlord or agent can check on the 6 monthly inspections.
Repairs to internal walls, re-decorating, mending dripping taps, resealing sinks/bath/showers, re-grouting tiles, ensuring suitable ventilation of a property should be areas which a landlord can address under general maintenance. This could be done during a void period or before re-letting a property. These are all areas which when left for a number of years will make your property start to look shabby and less appealing even though they aren’t big jobs in themselves.
External repairs to the property are again an area which can be done during void periods. Weeding the garden and driveway, painting and mending external windows, fences, outbuildings,re-seeding the lawn. Changing double glazed glass that has ‘blown’. Lagging pipes and dealing with the issues such as security, insulation and facia boards are all bigger jobs, but again jobs that need to be carried out after a number of years of renting a property.
Keeping up with the maintenance on a property will not only make the property more appealing to tenants but also help to maintain the value of the property and save it going into dis-repair. It will benefit you in the long run, so whilst you think it is a cost, it is actually making your ‘life’ ‘job’ as a landlord easier. Word travels fast and if you can be known as a ‘good landlord’ that people are happy to recommend, that alone is something that money can not buy. Keeping up with property maintenance and dealing quickly to repairs and maintenance issues that arise in the property will enhance your referral status.
Depending on the size of your portfolio you may choose to do most of the property maintenance yourself which for many is the most cost effective way of doing it. Alternatively you can hire individual tradesmen or a property maintenance person who specialises in all aspects of property maintenance.
Top Tip… It is always a good idea to show the tenant where the water stop tap is, the electrical circuit board and the gas and electric turnoff switches are, as this could prevent not only a full property disaster but also save you money on needlessly sending out emergency repairmen. It also helps to put the tenants mind at ease.