No matter the type or location of rental property, it is vital for landlords to stay on top of maintenance matters. By doing so, property owners can maintain a strong relationship with their tenant – which is often the clincher of a renewed tenancy.
As the first dedicated letting agency in West Lothian, we have seen rental properties at every end of the maintenance scale. Using our experience, we have put together a selection of landlord maintenance tips.
Firstly, we believe that to catch any maintenance issues early is to potentially save thousands of pounds over your tenure as a private landlord. Small problems are likely to become larger ones and can cause high levels of disruption to tenants and hassle for you as time goes on. On top of all this, by showing an interest in your tenants, you are showing them you care – which is important.
Checking your rental property regularly is also a habit that you want to get in to. An inspection every six months (quite possibly more, at Letting Solutions we inspect at least every three months) is advisable and giving your tenant 24hrs notice before each visit is often the norm. Some landlords expect their tenants to let them know of any maintenance issues, but they can’t always be relied on.
When undertaking your inspections it is wise to take the seasons into account. For example, take more notice of gutters and insulation in the winter and pay special attention to the garden in the summer. In many cases, the hands-on experience of a landlord or letting property agent rather than the tenant will be able to identify what problems often manifest into larger, more serious issues.
Many landlords, especially when new to the business, take a checklist when undertaking property inspections during tenancies. Some of the basics they often look for are the state of window and door seals (important for insulation), stains and marks on the walls and furniture, dripping taps and radiator leaks or patches of water, however small, on the bathroom floor, without obvious explanation eg someone has just had a bath!. Additionally, it is absolutely essential to always be on the lookout for damp, mould and condensation as any of these can often trigger considerable longer-term problems.
For more advice on renting your property or to find out about our property management services, please get in touch on: 0845 520 1420. Alternatively, use our value my property tool to find out how much your property could be worth in monthly rents.