Maintenance Issues

How To Deal With Them

Renting out your property can create a valuable revenue stream, but if you're having to pay for regular repairs it can soon eat into the money that you make. How can you be sure that you're liable for the cost of the repairs, and what can you do if you feel that your tenant is making unreasonable demands on your time and money?

As a landlord, you have a legal responsibility to keep your property in habitable condition and to look after the upkeep of your property's structure and exterior. It's a good idea to carry out a thorough inspection of your property before your tenant moves in and document the current condition. Remember, your tenant has no right to expect you to carry out home improvements and raise the standard of the property from how it was when they moved in.

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The onus to carry out repairs isn't solely on you. The tenant is expected to carry out everyday repairs such as changing light bulbs, or replacing screws. You'd be surprised how many tenants think the landlord should even take responsibility for those little jobs. If your tenants are requesting repairs on a frequent basis, there may be an underlying cause. Talk to the neighbours and see what their impressions are of your tenants. Do they make a lot of noise? Do they seem to show no respect to your property?

Regular visits to your property are a must for any landlord. It's your investment after all. You do, of course, have to give your tenant notice of your intent to view your property, but 24 hours should suffice. You'll be able to see the general condition of your property and determine whether it's being looked after adequately. It is essential to draw up a maintenance or visit schedule at the beginning of the tenancy. You could even discuss it with your tenant to find convenient times. Quarterly visits can help ensure that your property remains in good condition and minimise the potential for expensive repairs being needed.

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Keep accurate records of all conversations you have with your tenant. If they write to you or email, this is easy. If they telephone you, write down what is being said during the call or soon as the call ends. This way you can see if patterns emerge and can demonstrate if their demands for repairs and maintenance become excessive. If you do feel that their claims are straying towards the excessive, or even malicious, then it's time to have a word with them. Take someone with you as a witness, and record what's said. Do remember though to try to keep things as amicable as possible. Misunderstandings can sometimes be cleared up quite easily, and you'll often find that your tenants are much less demanding on you after such a meeting.

Do remember of course that repairs and maintenance will need to be carried out from time to time. It's the same for any property. By reporting genuine faults, your tenant is doing you a favour. It's also the responsibility of your tenant to inform you in a timely manner if an area of your building needs a repair. Quick repairs today can prevent the need for more expensive repairs tomorrow. They can also reduce the risk of hazards causing trips or falls.

If, however, their claims are less than fair, then you may eventually need to resort to asking them to leave or evicting them. This is very much a last resort, and regular inspections of your property, together with a formal meeting if necessary, can help to minimise the need to take such action.

Do you have more questions about Maintenance Issues? Schedule a time to meet with a lettings and HMO Expert from Greens Property, a Letting Agent in South East London SE18, by clicking here. 

 


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Greens Lettings is a property management company based in Shooters Hill, London. As your HMO expert in SE18, we continue to serve places in South East London such as SE2 (Abbey Wood), SE3 (Blackheath), SE7 (Charlton), SE9 (Eltham), SE10 (Greenwich South St), SE18 (Woolwich), SE23 (Lewisham) and SE28 (Thamesmead) — just to name a few. We are your local online letting agent specialising in HMO conversions and full management. We offer free consultation and free property valuation. Contact Greens Lettings here.