Every private landlord who rents their property is responsible for maintaining it to acceptable living standards. Although the term “living standard” is sometimes misleading in the context rental property maintenance, it basically means that the property should be clean, hygienic, and safe enough to allow tenants to feel comfortable and secure.
Rental property maintenance is a significant task and hence private landlords may want to consider below few proven tips to make sure they reap the benefits of their investment in the privately rented property business.
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- Have the property surveyed and an inventory done before you rent: This is the primary step that can be taken by landlords before renting their property. Inventory report by a third party involves complete inspection with proof of the current state or condition of the property. It also takes the check-in record of the items in the property. The Inventory report can be attached with the tenancy agreements. This audit report can be handy in case of any dispute resolution with the tenant in case of any damage to the property or breakage or loss of any item in the property.
RentOnCloud provides free tools to prepare online tenancy agreement, Inventory check-in & Check-out report and property maintenance tracker in UK. Compliance with regulatory requirements is essential. To obtain periodic reports, a professional assessor should also be hired.
- EPC (Energy performance certification) is renewed every ten years.
- EICR (Electricity inspection condition report) – either before tenants moves in and interval of 5 years
- Gas safety certificate (annually) – if property has any gas heating or equipment.
- Focus on preventive maintenance of the rental property instead of breakdown maintenance: Preventive maintenance of the rental property helps the landlord to identify any issues beforehand and as such cost of repair can be minimum whereas breakdown maintenance involves not looking into repair work until something gets out of order which obviously will incur more cost.
- Make tenant share the responsibility of property maintenance: Property maintenance is really something that needs involvement from both the parties (landlord and tenant). Landlords can prep the tenant to help maintain the property by periodically checking with the tenant about the state of the property and providing many useful tips and guidance. The landlord and tenant may want to use RentOnCloud app to manage their conversations regarding property maintenance. By simply click of touch Landlord or Tenants can raise maintenance task and Landlord will have eyes on tracking and approving budget. Maintenance becomes easier with open marketplace platform for traders.
- Provide swift action for any repair work: Landlords needs to be all ears of any property repair complaints from the tenant and should provide prompt actions to settle all the worries of a tenant. This is a confidence-building measure from the landlord and can pave the way to build trust and help discuss any property maintenance related concerns with a free mind.
- Documentation of the repair work: Landlords should maintain a separate file to document every maintenance work down to the rental property for every year. This serves many purposes and the primary one being providing necessary proof at the time of filing the income tax return. Besides this, it provides the history of all the maintenance activities done over the years which can come in handy at certain times during major property repair works.
- Take advantage of professional services for any property repair works: Private landlords should employ professionals to look into any property repair work unless repair work is very trivial. Professionals know their work and give landlords and tenants peace of mind over any repair work that is done.
- Periodic property inspection: Landlords should discuss with the tenant and set up a periodic inspection schedule. Periodic inspection can be done by the landlord himself or can be done by the letting agency to verify that the property is in good condition. This also provides the platform for the landlord to pass on any concerns to the tenant related to maintenance of the property and vice-versa.
- Aspire to get timely safety certificates: Every house has various utilities and some of them needs periodic inspections to verify the safety compliance are met. For example, a gas safety check is an essential thing to verify that there is no gas leakage which also ensures the safety of your tenant and improves the energy efficiency of the house. Landlords must periodically call the service providers and get the inspection done and take the safety certificates from them. Likewise, they can follow the same process for other utilities wherever it is applicable.
Rental property maintenance activity involves time, effort and spending money on various repairs and maintenance work. If a private landlord holds more than one property then keeping track of the amount spent besides other things can go easily out of hand. In such cases, a private landlord may want to hire professional property maintenance agencies or connect with letting agencies to manage the rental property maintenance activities.