Nov 02, 2020
Investing in real estate has a range of benefits and advantages, from providing passive income to a stable, long-term investment. Owning a rental property and being a landlord also comes with responsibilities. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to provide a safe and pleasant living environment for your tenants, not to mention that keeping your property well-maintained is an important part of protecting your investment.
When you’re starting out as a new landlord, you may have little or no knowledge of how to maintain your property. This doesn’t mean that you need to rush out and qualify as an electrician or look up local gas engineering training courses. However, by learning about and being across the basics of property maintenance you can keep your tenants happy and make the most of your investment for years to come.
Inspect the Rental Property
Regular property inspection is a must as it helps you detect the potential issues in that could cost you a fortune if not replaced and repaired. You need to conduct both exterior and interior inspections to find identify potential issues and areas that need improvement. Areas to pay close attention to include interior and exterior wall paints, heating and cooling systems, landscaping, windows and doors, roofing and guttering, the kitchen and bathrooms.
Before buying any property you should always hire a certified building inspector to check every element of the property from the roof to the wiring. It may be worth calling the building inspectors in periodically to do a thorough check, for example before letting the property to new tenants or if you have any concerns.
Consider Simple Updates and Redecorating
Redecorating your property can greatly increase its rental value, and, if you choose the right type of renovations, can deliver a significant return on your investment. Generally, small but impactful changes will give you the best returns for the smallest investment of time and money.
Some relatively easy ways to renovate your property that can deliver a great return on your investment include:
- Installing new electrical appliances
- Tiling your bathroom walls
- Painting the walls
- Paving the driveway
Fix Property Damage Quickly
It is your responsibility to provide your tenant with a clean, functional, and well-maintained property. Encourage your tenants to report any problems immediately, and be sure to rapidly address any concerns. Repairing any damage and addressing issues as quickly as possible is not only better for your tenants, but it protects your investment. Minor issues that are not addressed may evolve into much bigger problems over time that are expensive to fix.
Check Smoke Detectors Regularly
Whether they are battery-operated or hard-wired, smoke detectors should be inspected regularly. You should test these devices when you conduct your regular inspections. Equally, you should test carbon monoxide and gas detectors and immediately repair or replace them if not working properly. Gas leaks can not only cause significant property damage but even cost tenants their lives.
Replace Cooling and Heating System Filters
The filters in your HVAC systems need to be replaced once every six months. Filters that have accumulated dirt and debris can affect the efficiency of the heating and cooling systems as the system has to work harder to keep the room cool or warm. Not only does this push electricity bills through the roof, but inefficient HVAC systems are prone to damage.
Dirty filters that are not changed regularly can contaminate and clog air ducts. If that happens, you will end up spending a lot more on unnecessary repairs in the long run. Even if you are not the one paying the utility bill, check the HVAC system of the property regularly. You don’t want to lose your tenants because of the high utility bills that could have been avoided.
Find a Property Manager
Just like you would consult the experts when selling your property, professionals can also help you to keep your property in good condition. Regular inspections, cleaning, repairs and maintenance can get quite overwhelming for a landlord. It gets even more challenging when you own more than one rental property. If property maintenance seems time-consuming and overwhelming, consider hiring a professional property manager.
It is better to spend a few hundred pounds on a manager than wasting your time on scheduling appointments with painters, electrical repair companies, and more. A manager will typically charge a fixed fee every month for taking care of your rental property. Their professional care will likely save you money in the long run by avoiding unnecessary repairs, damage and tenant turnover.
Managing your rental property is not as easy as promoting your house to aspiring tenants and collecting rent every month. Being a landlord involves a lot more than keeping your property in top condition for the tenants and protect your investment over the long term.