Property Maintenance: Simple Landlord TipsWritten By PropertyLoop March 03, 2021
It’s essential that, as a landlord, you keep your rental property in good condition. This is not only to make sure your tenants have a habitable safe space, but also to ensure that the value of your property doesn’t diminish over time, should you want to sell up via an online property agent. So, why not take a quick read of our handy guide to property maintenance below, to help you stay on top of things.
- Act fast. You may be tempted to leave things as they are in order to save a little cash here and there. Sadly, when it comes to structural issues like damp or broken guttering, not addressing issue can cost you much more if approached at a later date.
- Compare prices. You’d be surprised at how much money a few hours of the phone can save you. A lot of time, when simply grabbing the first engineer or company you can find, you may not be aware that a few more calls and quotes will – most of the time – save you a significant amount of cash.
- Always seek out certified engineers and repairmen and never cut corners.
- Conduct regular services of appliances. Making sure things like boilers and cookers are regularly serviced can go an awfully long way to keeping them in great shape and avoiding any costly mishaps whereby they need to be replaced.
- Invest. In order to keep things in good order, it’s important to invest time and money into the property. One good tip is to leave a side three months’ rent should any emergencies occur, or when tenants vacate the property leaving it empty.
- Invest in relationships. This is key. If you have work done that’s cost effective and thorough, always cultivate relationships with your tradespeople. This won’t just help with finding reliable prices. Should any emergencies occur, your personal contacts are much more likely to fix the problem in a timeframe that’s beneficial to you, than companies or engineers you’ve just cold called.
- Inspect the property regularly. Landlord are encouraged to perform regular checks, as many tenants will only make a landlord aware of problems when they leave the house. By checking everything out regularly via certified engineers, you’ll be able to spot any potential problems before they become bigger.
Changes to the law
As of March 20th 2019, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act became the legal precedent for all tenants, ensuring all rented accommodation is fit for habitation. It is important that landlords strictly adhere to it, as it also offers tenants a way to challenge landlords who do not. It was hoped that the act itself would increase standards of living amongst tenants as well as empower them, without having to go through a local authority first.
A complete breakdown of the Government guide for landlords will tell you everything you need to know. In essence, a house can be deemed unfit for habitation, should it display any of these factors:
- Drainage problems and issue with the supply of hot or cold water
- Damp, lack of ventilation or over crowding
- Structural instability
- An overall neglected property
- A genuine and significant lack of natural light
- A kitchen without enough space to cook or prepare food
There are 29 hazards within the Housing Health and Safety (England) Regulations 2005. Should a home contain any of these, it can be deemed unfit for human habitation by the courts. Similarly, there are a list of other scenarios which won’t leave you, the landlord, responsible for a home being unfit. These include acts of God like fires or floods, or issues by which the property has been affected by the tenants or their own person possessions. If, as a landlord, you do not carry out any repairs in a timely manner, it can invalidate a Section 21 notice as well as prevent one being served for 6 months.
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