Top 10 Rental Property Maintenance Expenses

10.02.20

As a landlord, you need to be responsive to your tenants. You can’t just rent out your property and job done. There are maintenance expenses that you need to be aware of. Let’s make you the best landlord around. Somebody that gets things fixed and fast. Someone who ensures that their tenants have a safe property to live in. At Leased, we’re here to let you know what possible expenses that you might face so you’ll be prepared and ready to respond. 

1. Boiler

If something in the property is going to break down, then it;s going to be the boiler. You’ll have the tenant on the phone screaming that they’ve no hot water, and that you have to fix it NOW! 

Without doubt, boilers can be costly to repair. Perhaps you should look into boiler cover schemes or find yourself a good plumber to look after all of your properties. These options are much better than calling out an emergency plumber and paying extortionate prices. 

You’ll also find that when you have cover or a regular person, they’ll get the boiler fixed quickly. Meaning you’ll have your tenants off your back and happy again in no time. They’ll be in the shower singing your praises. 

2. Heating

In most rental properties, heating won’t be provided by a boiler, but by electric instead. Electricity is often more reliable and this is the reason landlords will opt to choose electric heaters. 

If they break down during the winter months, your tenants are going to feel a chill, and they’ll be calling you to get it fixed. This will also benefit you, as it’ll keep your property warm and avoids damp setting in. 

As you will need to have a PAT test performed on your electrical goods, it’s wise to have them serviced often. If you don’t want to pay for a cover scheme (which you should), then to make sure that you have somebody qualified in heating, to make repairs if problems should arise. 

3. Appliances

If you have chosen to rent your property with appliances, then any wear and tear problems will be your responsibility. Obviously you can’t be held responsible if a child has cooked their toy truck in the microwave. That will be their responsibility. It should clearly state in the tenancy agreement that they pay for any damages caused by them. 

Again, you may have a warranty on some of your appliances and that’s all well and good. But you should ideally look for a local handyman that can do all the little jobs for you. It’ll give you peace of mind, and it’ll stop your tenants calling you on speed dial. 

4. Electrics

Apart from hot water, all the other appliances in the property will be run on electricity. So, it’s vital that you keep everything wired correctly. You won’t be wanting a short circuit. 

It’s vital that you have all of the electrics in the home serviced regularly. This is to protect your tenants from fire hazard, make sure you’re lawful and that your tenants have electricity. Nobody wants to be without lights. 

Don’t skimp when employing somebody to fix the electrics. Saving a few dollars could end up costing lives. Make sure that you find a qualified electrician and that they are a reputable trader. Don’t forget, it’s your property. It’s an investment for you to have good working order. It’s a large expense, but not one that occurs very often. 

5. Leaks

When leaks happen, you’re going to have to act fast. You should be straight on your phone to your plumber asking them to visit as soon as possible. Leaks aren’t just inconvenient for your tenants, they can be devastating for your property too. Leaks cause a large amount of damage, including; mould, ceilings to collapse, pests and much more. What starts off as a small leak could turn into a nightmare.

You’ll need to hire a good plumber, someone that’ll be able to respond quickly. If you use them for all your properties, then you may even be able to make a deal with them and save a few dollars. Let’s not forget though that not all leaks come from pipes. It could be a good idea to get to know a local roofer too. 

6. Blockages

Your tenant may have blocked the kitchen sink numerous times with fat, or their kid keeps flushing toys down the toilet. These aren’t your responsibility and will fall to your tenant to pay. 

But there could be problems with the pipes due to other reasons. This could be; leaves collecting in the downpipes, waste pipes being blocked, or any other issue that isn’t the tenants fault. In these situations, the expenses will fall to you. 

Either way, you’ll need to deal with blockages quickly. You won’t want wastewater backing up into your property. It’s best to have somebody on call for emergencies like these. 

7. Mould

The problem with mould is it’s very sneaky. Sometimes you won’t even know it’s there until you have a massive problem. Your tenants will want this sorting very quickly, as it’s bad people to breathe in the spores and can cause long term health problems. 

Ideally, you will have made sure there is adequate ventilation before your tenants moved in. If you didn’t, you’ll learn the hard way. If you have adequate ventilation and still have a problem, then you’ll need to source where the mould is coming from. It could be that the bathroom is getting too steamy when the shower is used or a seal on a window is degrading. 

When you’ve found the problem, you’ll be able to find the solution and stop any further mould from growing. You can call in a professional to clean up the mould, but to save expenses you could fix the infected area yourself. All you need to do is clean with bleach or a strong disinfectant and then use an anti-mould paint over the top. If steam is an issue in your property, you could invest in a couple of dehumidifiers. Be proactive rather than pay the price. 

8. Bugs/Pests

It may seem unfair to the tenant, but this is why a lot of landlords don’t allow pets in the tenancy agreement. The risk of bugs is substantially increased. Although if you’re a landlord that allows pets, you can always state in the contract that any bugs caused by pets are the tenants responsibility. 

However, if the tenants report other unwanted guests, then the bill will fall down at your feet. And You’ll need to decide whether you can provide steps to remedy the problem, or if you’ll need professional assistance. If it’s infestation, such as; mice, silverfish or cockroaches then you’ll certainly need more than a can of spray. 

Your local council may offer a pest removal service. If not, you’ll need to find a contractor. Make sure that you get an expert; you won’t want your tenants calling back in a week reporting the same problem. 

9. Decorating

This should be an expense at the end of every tenancy agreement. You’ll enter your property and give it a thorough clean and a fresh lick of paint. You should not be expected to decorate due to tenants neglecting your property. If their child has used their crayon all over the wall, then they should clean it and pay for a fresh coat of paint if needed. 

You should also make it clear from the start if you allow the tenants to decorate the property in their own colours. The last thing you want is for your magnolia walls to be painted black. You’ll have a harder job getting the wall back to magnolia when they’ve left. It’s often easier if they make little or no modifications to the property. It’ll save you dollars that you don’t need to spend. 

10. Exterior Of The Property

The exterior of the property is your responsibility. The tenant can’t be blamed for elements beyond their control, so any structural expenses will be coming your way. This could be; roofing, brickwork, windows, fencing or any other issues that arise. These problems don’t tend to happen very often, but if you’ve got good insurance then you’ll be A-OK. 

It’s vital that you’ve got all of this knowledge when drawing up contracts. You and your tenant will want to know exactly what your responsibilities are, for clarification and to maintain a good relationship. You won’t want to fall out with your tenant over an issue that could have easily been sorted from the start. 

At Leased, we understand that the relationship between the landlord and the tenant is very important. We’re committed to giving you all of the information that you need to make your rental a success for you and your tenants. 

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