Landlords, I’m sure you would tend to agree that the majority of tenants do not take a great deal of care with your property, probably due to the fact that they have no financial responsibility with the property, apart from perhaps the deposit.
Maintain your buy to let
How many tenants cause accidental damage in a property and do not inform their landlord knowing that they would be expected to pay for the repair or replacement, however if a problem arises that is down to the landlord to rectify, the tenants are soon making contact.
Maintenance of a property is an ongoing commitment whether it be your own home or a buy to let and can be a drain on your finances. Buy to let landlords need to be practical, versatile and pragmatic ensuring that any investments work both financially and do not make you time poor.
Buy to let properties take a beating, so my advice is to decorate with that in mind. Rather than getting the cheapest fixtures and fittings it’s often more cost effective to spend a little more – “don’t spoil the ship for an hapeth of tar”
My top tips for maintaining your buy to let
Ensure that you carry out regular inspections and make a note of urgent and none urgent jobs. Have a time schedule of jobs to be carried out.
Avoid mould in the property, it’s easier to keep mould at bay than deal with it, once it appears. Send information leaflets to your tenants at regular intervals, they need to do their bit. Would and air brick help circulate the air or how about vents in double glazing, both items can be installed fairly cheaply.
If your tenants give notice to vacate, make an early visit to see what will need doing once they have gone. If you are using contractors you will need to book them in advance as good contractors are usually booked solid for weeks and weeks.
Pay close attention to bath seals and sink surrounds and replace the sealant before it becomes unsightly. I always carried a box in the boot of my car for those little jobs which I could do myself, along with the usual screwdrivers there was filler, no nails, a tube of sealant, a sealant gun and heavy duty wipes. Little jobs that I could complete myself and in the process save myself a few pounds, thus not having to pay contractors.
Use hard wearing, good quality carpets or laminate flooring, cheap carpets are often false economy and tend to require replacing every couple of years. Laminate flooring is both practical and looks attractive.
Gone are the days when we painted every wall Magnolia, why not use light greys or greens and give those rooms a homely feel and use the rooms natural light.
If you provide the white goods in a property, why not take out the extended warranty. How many times has the 1 years manufacturers warranty just expired and your washing machine, for instance, has broken down. For the sake of a few pounds a month you could potentially save hundreds of pounds in call out charges and parts over time. What about boilers, the call out charge alone can be £80.00, the cost soon mounts up.
I know quite a few landlords who do not fit cookers in properties, it’s then the tenants responsibility to supply and maintain their own. If central heating is fitted, many landlords do not have fires in the properties, this also saves on maintenance costs.
Keep spare floor and wall tiles so that you can easily replace damaged ones, it’s quite surprising how quickly ranges or colours of tiles are no longer available.
If you are letting a property furnished, work with neutral colours and don’t fill the property with unnecessary items. Allow tenants to put their own mark on their home, they may look after the property better if it feels as though it’s their home and not just a rental property.
Maintaining your buy to let will benefit you in the long run and be less hassle.
If you are thinking of getting into the property rental market and don’t know where to start, speak to us for impartial advice and guidance to get the best return on your investment. For more information about other potential investment properties that we could introduce you to, or to ask about our thoughts on your own investment choices, call us now on 01827 425195, you can always email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk
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