Depending on the size of your property portfolio, arranging regular maintenance can be a quite a feat, especially if your properties are all based in different areas.
However, as the Government is now placing stricter legislation on landlords, it is essential that you keep on top of the maintenance for each of your properties, or you could find yourself in a difficult situation.
While this may sound like an arduous task at first, Just Landlords provides four helpful tips to get you going:
Essential maintenance vs. non-essential
By law, all landlords are required to provide their tenants a safe and suitable property to live in, which is why there are basic maintenance tasks that you will need to carry out on a regular basis.
For example, each of your properties must have fire alarms on each floor and in the kitchen, as well as in every room of the property if you are letting out an HMO. You also need to make sure that you check each fire alarm in your property on a regular basis and if they need replacing, do so in a timely manner.
If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of maintenance you need to perform for your property portfolio, then the first thing you should do is separate what tasks are essential and what aren’t.
After doing this, you will be able to prioritise the essential tasks, making your overall workload much smaller. Doing this will also ensure that you are never accused of not adhering to regulations concerning the safety of your properties.
Maintaining your property’s structures
As winter is well on its way, it’s now a good time to start looking at the structure of each of your properties and ensuring that they are ready for the cold weather.
Ice, wind and rain can all play havoc with properties, especially if there are structural flaws that you haven’t got round to fixing yet. For example, a few missing roof tiles may not seem like a big deal now, but after a few days of torrential rain, you could find yourself with a flooded property.
Normally, if there is something wrong with the structure of your property, then your tenants will let you know, however, you shouldn’t solely rely on this.
When making your inspections, make sure that you ask them about the property and if they have noticed anything wrong, like a leaking pipe or any damp on the walls.
Jogging their memories could mean you get to fix small issues before they cause huge problems and require you to claim on your landlord insurance policy.
Renovating empty properties
There is never a better time to renovate a property than when it is going through a void period, as it means that you won’t have to worry about getting in your tenants’ way.
The only issue with renovations is that they often cost a substantial amount of money, especially if you are improving the whole property and not just single rooms.
Therefore, if you know that a property will be going through a void period soon – such as after a fixed tenancy has ended – you should start budgeting straight away.
Don’t forget that even after budgeting for a renovation, you could find that once work has started there will be certain issues that mean you may have to pay out more than expected and wait longer for the work to be completed. This is why you should never plan a restoration if you need the property back in a rush, as you could end up in a sticky situation.
Get to know local tradespeople
Nine times out of ten, landlords choose to hire tradespeople to complete maintenance work instead of doing it themselves, either because they don’t possess the required skills or simply don’t have the time. This is why it’s imperative that you get to know tradespeople in the areas your properties are based in, as they could come in handy, especially in an emergency.
Don’t forget that most tradespeople get booked up pretty fast, so make sure you have at least two or three you can call so you don’t have to wait too long for work to be carried out.
If you live far away from your properties, then make sure you go online and research tradespeople in the area it’s based in, as there are now multiple websites you can use where customers rate their experiences with local tradespeople.
Don’t forget though that if a large project is being carried out, you may have to meet up face-to-face anyway to ensure the job is done as and how you like it.
Arranging maintenance for properties can take up a large amount of a landlord’s time, however, if it is planned well, you won’t find yourself struggling to keep your property portfolio in good condition. Don’t forget that you can also hire a letting agent to give you a hand should you really find yourself struggling.