Cost effective preventive maintenance tips for Landlords.

- Wed 18 Nov 2020

Many homeowners who are moving out of their first home and are looking for a bigger home, consider letting out their current property rather than selling it. If this is a decision you are looking into, we’ve put together some key maintenance tasks to complete before you let out your property. When you do become a Landlord, you will be responsible for fixing anything that breaks or needs replacing. This may be arranged through your letting agent if you are on a fully managed letting package or you may do the work yourself. Either way, if you cover these bases early on you can prevent costly repairs down the line.

1. Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

To prevent any potential fire damage to your home and also protect your tenants against any dangers of inhaling CO and smoke, make sure you install brand new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These are very cheap, you can usually pick these up from your local hardware shop or even supermarket for around £20.00 - £30.00 for the two. This is an essential yet cost effective task to carry out.

2. Connect Appliances to a Surge Protector

Consider plugging all of your appliances into surge protectors. A surge protector is designed to limit the voltage supplied by the electronic device, which protects it against electrical surges. If an electrical surge were to happen, they will almost instantly pay for themselves as they will protect your electrical device from damage. If you would like to take extra precaution, you could get an electrician to install a whole house surge protector which will safeguard against power surges throughout the entire home. While this will obviously cost more than individual surge protectors, it still pales in comparison to the cost of replacing a whole kitchen’s worth of appliances if there were to be a storm for example.

3. Protect Against Frozen Pipes

During freezing months in the winter, pipes can freeze. Although you cannot control the weather, you can take measures to protect your pipes and in return save you money! Cost effective ways of protecting against frozen pipes include wrapping any exposed pipes with electrical heating tape, insulate especially vulnerable pipes with foam insulation and finally pay close attention to pipes in your attic; basement or garage as these are common areas to experience frozen pipes.

4. Change your locks

More for peace of mind. If when you lived in the property you gave out your key to neighbours, contractors or any other people who may of mislaid a key to your property, change your locks! This will put you and your tenants at ease and prevent any unwanted guests from walking in.

5. Take care of your outside space

Make sure your garden is as low maintenance as possible for the tenant. You don’t want to return to your property and the whole thing be overgrown and unattractive. Minimise areas given to open flower beds, if you do have an area in which you would like to plant, consider hardy annuals such as poppies and cornflowers that develop self-containing colonies. Consider gravel, paving or decking over a lawn. If you do have a decking, make sure you get a builder to inspect it every 2-5 years. Although this sounds tedious, it may save you a costly repair! You can also get an acrylic/satin coating which will make decking look new whilst protecting it from certain elements which may damage it.

6. Lastly, be on top of your maintenance

For those happy to maintain their rental property on a day to day basis, either make a maintenance schedule for your new rental property that includes things like draining the hot water heater once a year and changing air filters four times a year, this will hopefully prevent or catch problems before they occur. Most of our clients prefer to instruct us on a fully managed basis, which allows them to enjoy their investment without the hassle and stress that can come without the systems, knowledge and experience we can provide.

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