Decide essential maintenance vs. non-essential
All landlords are legally required to provide a safe and suitable home for their tenants for health and safety reasons. Therefore there are basic maintenance tasks that should be carried out regularly.
A properties must have the appropriate smoke alarms and heat detectors. They also need to be tested on a regular basis and if they need replacing, do so on a regular basis.
One good way to determine what needs dealing with as a matter of urgency is to list of all possible tasks and separate them into priority and non-priority. Anything that concerns your tenants’ safety and is a legal requirement and is a top priority.
Categorising your tasks will make your overall workload feel much more manageable.
Maintaining your property’s structure
You need to prepare your property during the summer months before the cold winter months hit.
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. A few missing roof tiles may not seem like a big deal at the moment though after a few days of torrential rain, you could find yourself with a flooded property and leaks.
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 carrying out inspections, ask your tenants if they have noticed anything they would like to report. This can help you to fix small issues before the issues get bigger, which can be costly. Having a comprehensive landlord insurance policy is also a good backup for such situations.
Renovating vacant 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 cost a lot, 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. Ensure to check your current buildings insurance is still valid for the period the property will be vacant.
Have reliable, knowledgeable, caring contractors
Get to know established tradespeople in your area. Bringing someone repeat business can put you in a good position when negotiating a price or being a priority.
Being on friendly terms with them can also work in your favour if you have an emergency and need help at short notice.
If you are a long distance landlord, have a well established property manager on your side.
Arranging maintenance for properties can take up a lot of time. However, if it is planned well, you will keep your property portfolio in good condition and everything will run smoothly.
If you’d like more information on West London Property Networking, please read: What is West London Property Networking?