As any good landlord or property manager knows, keeping well-maintained properties is fundamental to business success. In this article, we’ll break down a few important reasons why regular property maintenance should be at the top of your agenda, as well as some of the most commonly neglected property repairs that you should aim to address.
Why is regular maintenance so beneficial?
1. Ensures that you stay on the right side of the law
The Tenancies Act stipulates that renters are entitled to a safe and comfortable living space. Whilst most landlords are passionate about keeping their tenants away from harm, some do not realise that the best way to achieve this is through regular maintenance visits. By checking that your property is being kept in a good condition it will help ensure that you are compliant with the law and will help you to avoid repercussions further down the line.
2. Mitigates the chances of vacant properties
If one of your properties becomes vacant, you may have trouble filling it if the rooms are tattered and unattractive. Maintaining your properties will ensure that your investment pays off in the long run by filling vacancies and, therefore, securing a regular flow of income.
3. Encourages tenants to look after your properties
Tenants will find it much easier to treat a property poorly if it already looks uncared for. This can lead to a vicious cycle that could end up costing you a huge amount of money unnecessarily. Regular maintenance means you will only have to spend incremental amounts of repairs and touch-ups, rather than having to overhaul an entire house when it simply becomes too shabby to inhabit.
4. May be able to charge more
Prospective tenants are usually happy to pay extra for a well-maintained home compared to one that shows signs of neglect. Something as simple as a fresh lick of paint or a well-tended garden could encourage people to pay slightly higher rent costs and, in the long run, could raise your income.
How can I successfully maintain a rental property?
It goes without saying that landlords should try and attend to repairs as soon as they are reported by tenants. It is also important to remember, however, that tenants may ignore certain problems or simply not notice them. In this way, routine inspections can help you to spot potential problems early on and prevent them from becoming costly and troublesome further down the line. Issues you should look out for (but are often overlooked) include:
1. Mould and damp
As well as being unattractive, mould and damp can have serious health issues and should be attended to swiftly.
2. Fences and walls
Check the structural integrity of fences and walls.
3. The standard of wall paint
Peeling or dirty walls can hugely impinge on the overall look of a property. Going over the walls every few years with fresh paint will make your properties look attractive and clean.
4. The cleanliness of carpets
Dirty carpets can be hugely off-putting to potential renters. In this way, it is a good idea to give the carpets in your properties a professional clean every so often.
Old appliances can make a property look dated and may not work as well as tenants would hope. In this way, landlords should aim to service or replace appliances that need it.
6. The outside walls of the property
It can be very easy to overlook the external appearance of a property, but you may be surprised at the difference it makes. Giving the outside walls of your property a professional clean or paint could end up persuading a prospective tenant to fill a vacancy.
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