Maintenance Issues? Some Great Advice for Landlords.

It never rains but it pours when you rent out property. Here we have some useful tips on how to best manage the maintenance of your valuable asset.

Have an annual plan
You should have an annual plan for all maintenance tasks and ask your tenants to help with this.

Get tenants to check their boilers before winter sets in.
It is no use finding out that the heating will not work when winter arrives. Ask your tenants to give your heating a run in September before the days get to short and the weather starts to chill. In this way, there is a good chance any issues can be addressed prior to the winter rush. Your engineer will be pleased to service any gas appliances and produce the correct certificates at the same time.

Take out landlord emergency insurance
Search the internet for Landlord Emergency Insurance. Once taken out, it will cover you for emergencies, such as boiler breakdowns and window or door breakages etc.
You will receive a 24 hour number which tenants can call directly if they have a problem; you do not even need to get involved.

Most policies cover repairs up to a certain amount, after which the insurance company will refer the problem back to you. In this case at least you have had a free call out, and diagnoses, so you will know how to proceed. The representative of the insurance company will also make any immediate danger safe, negating the necessity for you to take instant action.

Rent unfurnished
For many years, when a house was let furnished, an allowance for wear and tear was reclaimable, irrespective of the actual costs involved. This has now been discontinued. Now if you rent your property out furnished, you may find yourselves replacing expensive equipment and furniture. This, of course, is an additional cost and comes off your profit.

Put regular money aside
All property needs maintaining at some stage. Make sure you put some money aside on a regular basis to cover any repair that may need to be carried out over time. By putting away 15% of your income into a maintenance account, it will not be so much of a shock when the inevitable pay out is required.

Get Help
It’s a great idea to get the help of a letting agent from the word go. The cost may not be as high as you think. Typically a good agent charges between 8 and 15%. By doing so you will have professionals, finding tenants, drawing up the contracts, managing the maintenance and building, managing the money and giving you great advice. They are also accountable for safeguarding your interests. In short, if they muck up, you sue them!

In summary if you are careful, realistic and follow a few basic guidelines, the maintenance of your rental property or properties should not be to much of a burden leaving you with the knowledge that any problem is not insurmountable.