What Type of Maintenance is Pertinent to Landlords?

While the historic peak of the UK’s buy-to-let market may have passed, the demand for such properties has continued to increase of late.

In fact, new research carried out by Shawbrook Bank found that one-third (34%) of landlords are looking to expand their buy-to-let portfolios in the next 12 months, highlighting the returning strength of the property market as a whole.

Of course, such landlords have a duty of care to their tenants and a number of legal obligations when managing properties. However, they’re not liable for everything, so here are some of the duties that they must fulfill.

  • #1. Health and Safety: Fundamentally, landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their properties are fit to live in and compliant with all established health and safety rules. This covers a broad scope of factors, from ensuring that the property has no damp patches or mold issues, while it must also be structurally sound and have solid foundations. Any modification work that has been completed must be certified and demonstrably safe before tenants can inhabit the property.
  • #2. Gas and Electrical Safety: Another facet of this is ensuring gas and electrical safety, which requires landlords to liaise with skilled and qualified tradespeople to check all fitting and appliances and provide certification. You’ll need to certify that all gas and electrical fittings are safe and fully functional every year as a landlord, with this process also requiring you to check all internal wiring and plugs to ensure that they’re safe to use.
  • #3. House Maintenance: When it comes to preparing and managing your management portfolio, there’s a heavy emphasis on scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. From checking external windows and doors to securing ceiling and internal walls, responsibility for the maintenance of a property’s structure will usually be detailed in the contract signed between the tenant and landlord. Fortunately, you can aid this process by liaising with expert property managers in a bid to optimise demand and your ROI.
  • #4. Repairs: On a similar note, urgent and unexpected repairs will also fall within the remit of the landlord. So, if a boiler breaks down or the cooker ceases to work, you’ll have to organise a tradesperson to attend the property, ensure that the work is carried out to a satisfactory level and settle the final invoice. Of course, this can be handled by your letting agency where applicable, but the key is to attend to such matters quickly. However, addressing minor issues or those relating to the tenant’s possessions aren’t the responsibility of the landlord.
  • #5. Fire and Smoke Alarms: Not only do you have to certify the general gas and electrics at a property, but as a landlord you’re also required to check the functionality of all fire and smoke alarms. Ideally, a CO2 alarm should also be installed and in good working order, as this provides an additional layer of protection for tenants. Such measures are crucial, as they can help to save lives in the worst case scenarios.

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Bizu Yaregal

Feelance journalist and contributor, see my work also at grmdaily

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