If you own an investment property, and you plan to rent out your house or flat, it’s essential to be aware of your responsibilities in terms of maintenance and upkeep. As a property owner, there are certain jobs you must undertake to ensure that the property is in a fit state for your tenants. If you plan to start letting your property out, or you’re on the hunt for new tenants at the close of a contract, here are 7 investment property maintenance essentials to tick off your to-do list.
Fire safety checks
As a landlord, you must ensure that the property you plan to let out is safe. Fire safety checks are an essential requirement, and you should ensure that the house or apartment is fitted with smoke detectors that are in good working order. If your property is managed, for example, by an agency like Waterfront Estates, the alarms will be checked during routine inspections. If the property doesn’t currently have detectors in place, these should be fitted before the tenant moves in. It’s also beneficial to install a carbon monoxide detector.
If you plan to let your property out on a furnished or part-furnished basis, the house may be equipped with a range of domestic appliances. If you’re providing a fridge, a freezer or a washing machine, these must be in good working order before the tenant gets hold of the keys. Carry out basic checks, and ensure that electrical appliances are safety-tested. If things go wrong during the tenancy, for example, the washing machine breaks, in most cases, the landlord will be liable for repair costs.
Drains and plumbing
As the owner of a rental property, it’s your duty to take care of plumbing maintenance and any repairs that are required during the agreed term. If the drains are blocked, there’s a problem with the water supply, or there’s a leak, it is usually the responsibility of the landlord or the managing agent to call a plumber. It’s not always possible to prevent plumbing and drainage issues, but you can reduce the risk by clearing gutters and drains, and replacing old pipes.
If you offer your home to let on a furnished basis, you will be required to do your bit to maintain the furniture and ensure it serves a purpose. If you have chairs with broken legs or a sofa that has seen better days, it’s best to repair or replace these items before a new tenant moves in, or to provide an alternative swiftly if a tenant reports a problem during their tenancy. If your property is available on a non-furnished basis, the tenant will assume responsibility for the furniture they choose to use.
Carpets and flooring
If you own a home that you rent out, keep an eye on the carpets and flooring. If the carpet is frayed or worn, or you have chipped tiles or broken floorboards, this can carry a risk of injury. The condition of the flooring should be recorded in the inventory. If the tenant is responsible for damage, they may be liable for repair costs depending on the stipulations of the individual rental agreement.
As a landlord, you are responsible for the roof. If there are damp patches on the ceiling or loose or missing tiles, you may need to consider investing in repair work. With problems that affect the roof, it’s almost always beneficial to intervene early, as issues can become more severe over the course of time. If a tenant does report problems, such as leaks or patches on the walls, it’s wise to get the roof seen to by experienced roofers.
Windows and doors
If you rent your house out, you’ll need to ensure that your windows and doors are in good working order for security, as well as aesthetic purposes. If you’ve got a broken window or a back door that doesn’t lock properly, this could have implications for your tenant’s safety, the security of your home, and also its energy efficiency rating. Damaged windows and old doors should be repaired or replaced as a priority. If you’re looking to boost the value of your investment property, and you don’t already have double glazing, this may be an option worth considering.
If you have bought a property you plan to let out to tenants, it’s beneficial to keep on top of maintenance tasks. There are certain jobs that will fall under the responsibility of the tenants, for example, mowing the lawn, but for the most part, property owners take control of the upkeep of the building. Arranging regular checks and responding to issues swiftly will reduce the risk of more complex and costly problems and ensure your tenants are happy in their new home.