Landlords must undertake regular maintenance

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords need to ensure that their properties are well maintained but should not get caught up in the tiny details.

Lee Grandin, director at Landlord Mortgages, said that it is easy to assume in the current climate that many landlords are complacent about upkeep, thinking that high demand will mean rooms rent themselves.

However, he suggested that the opposite is usually true and claimed that most people letting a property will consider presentation to be paramount.

"But this does not mean a landlord needs to be too critical of his or her workmanship, as detailing can be costly without any uplift in rent achievable," Mr Grandin said.

It is vital to have a regular property inventory to ensure that any damage or general wear and tear is noted in due course so that it can be dealt with as quickly as possible.

"General regular maintenance is your safeguard against the property falling into disrepair that will inevitably lead to expensive repair bills," he explained.

Even with a tenant in place it is important to keep track of the state of a property and ensure maintenance is done in good time.

A key way to aid this is to have a clause in tenancy agreements that puts the onus on tenants to contact their landlord in case of any repairs, maintenance and improvements in a timely manner.

By the same token, landlords are then responsible for carrying out any emergency repairs quickly to avoid not only necessarily large costs, but also to minimise disruption for tenants.

If maintenance is carried out to a high standard in between tenants as well, this will limit the risk of the property needing repairs with a tenant in situ.

But as "the majority of landlords are acutely aware that the presentation of a property is paramount", most will simply need to avoid making improvements or alterations that will cost them money but not increase the rental asking price, Mr Grandin said.

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Published on: June 15, 2012

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