This two-minute read details a five-point plan to help landlords manage their maintenance responsibilities.
There’s no quick fix when it comes to maintenance and repairs; to avoid stressful and costly tenant disputes, landlords need to be organised and proactive.
Who is responsible for what?
Always check your contract, but as a general rule, landlords are responsible for structural features like walls and chimneys, along with windows, drains, stairs, toilets, showers, pipework, the boiler, and electrics.
If the property has a garden, the landlord is responsible for things like lopping tree branches and repairing fences.
But it’s a two-way street, and tenants have responsibilities, too. They must keep the property in good condition and repair any damage they cause. (If, for example, they make a hole in a wall, it’s up to them to fix it.)
Crucially, tenants also must notify the landlord if there’s a problem.
Five tips for managing repairs and maintenance
- Be clear about responsibilities
It’s best if both parties understand their responsibilities from the outset – and that these are clearly outlined in writing.
- Fix problems promptly
Don’t drag your heels when a tenant raises an issue, as this will only breed animosity. Being a landlord is a round-the-clock job – be prepared for a call at any time of day or night (unless you have a letting agent managing the property).
- Good communication
It’s amazing how much goodwill you can generate by being professional and polite. Check in with your tenant regularly and keep them updated about any repair works.
- Regular inspections
With regular inspections, you can spot minor issues and address them before they become major repair jobs. Also, a tenant is more likely to look after your property if they know you’re a hands-on property manager (or if your letting agent is on the ball).
- Have a maintenance plan
As a landlord, you have a duty of care to ensure the property is safe – failure to do so could land you in court and invalidate your insurance. Have a clear maintenance plan and arrange mandatory electrical and boiler checks on time.
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