Depending on the size of your property portfolio, arranging regular upkeep can be challenging. With a few tips, you can stay on top of such tasks.
Periodical checks are important to make sure that your rental home is in good repair and catch any issues that may become worse if left. It also helps to have a conversation with your tenants to make sure they are happy. It shows you care and that you are keeping an eye on the property. With this in mind, we’ve put together four property maintenance tips to help landlords get started.
Essential maintenance vs. non-essential
All landlords are legally required to provide a safe and suitable home for their tenants to live in. This is why there are basic maintenance tasks that you should carry out regularly.
For example, each of your properties must have the appropriate smoke alarms. We found the table on the Fire Service website useful covering the needs of all property types. They also need to be tested on a regular basis and if they need replacing, do so in a timely manner.
One good way to determine what needs doing ASAP and what can wait is to create a list of all possible tasks and separate them into essential and non-essential. Anything that concerns your tenants’ safety and is a legal requirement should be a top priority.
Categorising your tasks will make your overall workload feel much more manageable.
Maintaining your property’s structure
At the time of year when the colder weather is on its way, you’ll want to make sure your property is ready.
Ice, wind and rain can cause a number of issues, 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 them noticing before it’s too late.
When making your inspections, ask your tenants if they have noticed anything wrong, like a leaking pipe or damp on the walls. This can help you to fix small issues before they cause huge problems, which can be costly. Having a comprehensive landlord insurance policy is also a good backup for such situations.
Renovating empty properties
Take advantage of void periods to renovate your property. This means that you won’t have to worry about causing disruption for your tenants.
Renovations can be expensive, especially if you are improving the whole property and not just single rooms. It’s best to create a budget, taking into account expected void periods, before starting.
Even after budgeting, you could discover more issues during the renovation. This could lead to higher costs and an extended completion date. You need to make sure you have a big enough window of unoccupancy to factor this in, otherwise, the project could become very stressful. Just be sure to check your current house insurance is still valid for the period of time the property will sit empty.
Get to know local tradespeople
Our final property maintenance tip for you is to get to know established tradespeople in your area. Bringing someone repeat business can put you in a good position when negotiating a price.
Being on friendly terms with them can also work in your favour if you have an emergency and need help at short notice.
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 hire a letting agent to manage a property if needed.