Repair Requests: A Landlord’s ObligationWritten By PropertyLoop March 04, 2021
When it comes to your property, the everyday life of tenants is likely to extract a fair bit of wear and tear. This is completely normal and not something to sit up at night worrying about. However, responding to sensible requests to repair or fix issues via your online property agent is, as a landlord, one of your primary roles. Responding quickly to any requests has two major benefits. Firstly, it’ll ensure that any arising problems can be fixed before turning into costly larger ones. Secondly, it will keep your relationship with your tenants on good terms, given that they are paying their hard earned cash to live in a nice place.
Recent research has discovered that tenants are spending an average of £217 annually, per household, for repair bills that fall under the landlord’s remit. By fixing these issues yourself, you could actually save money and stress in the long run by upping your chances of a longer duration of stay on the part of your tenants, than in a household where a slack landlord refuses to fix things.
In order to keep on top of your property, its vital that the things like boilers, baths, showers and toilets are kept in good working order. Instructing your tenants to tell you about any problems which arise is a good way to keep the property healthy.
When it comes to timeframes, of course, there are often issues with contractor start dates or the nature of the work which must be undertaken, but on the whole it’s important to kickstart the process as soon as possible. If a tenant is aware that you as a landlord like to get things fixed sharpish, then they’re much more likely to come to you with any repair requests, rather than leave them to stew on account of your previous inaction. This underlines the importance of a good relationship with your tenants, based on trust.
Conversely, problems which are not dealt with can often spin out of control. This could mean that you as a landlord end up paying for extensive works to fix them, or if you simply do nothing, you could be putting your tenants at risk and face a big fine.
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 stipulates that local authorities have the power to fine landlords up to £30,000 for failing to issue an improvement notice. They also do not need powers of criminal prosecution to do this, and can issue a spot fine based purely on evidence – which can often be supplied by your tenants. This could mean that not sorting a blocked drain, which is spilling out toxic water will end up costing you an astronomical amount of cash in fines and subsequent work, rather than just a few hundred pounds when it occurs.
Your property agent is probably the best port of call to help act as a mediator between you and your tenants in an instance where repair requests are made, allowing you to remain as efficient as possible. Plus, they are also likely to have previous experience with the repair in question and can often provide the details of certified tradespeople to fix it, allowing both you and your tenants to get on with life, unobstructed.
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