Tips for main­tain­ing a rental prop­erty

George Herald - Private Property - - Property News -

Web ref: 1900 am­ple cup­board space for your com­fort. The prop­erty has 2 mod­ern full bath­rooms, one of which is en suite to the main bed­room. There is no space wasted in this home.

Lovely sized open-plan ar­eas are per­fect for en­ter­tain­ing, espe­cially with the flow of the kitchen into the din­ing room and lounge. The kitchen has gran­ite tops and a sep­a­rate scullery.

The liv­ing ar­eas are easy to main­tain with lovely tiles through­out. Dou­ble garages with au­to­mated doors.

Come and en­joy com­fort­able liv­ing in a safe en­vi­ron­ment. Do not miss out on this ex­cel­lent buy that is not to be seen at this price again!

Rent­ing out a prop­erty is not a get-out-of-jail­free card when it comes to main­te­nance. Ev­ery home, re­gard­less of how good its ten­ant, needs to be looked after.

At some point the walls will need to be re­painted, new car­pets will need to be laid and ap­pli­ances such as stoves will have to be re­placed. Many land­lords choose to re­dec­o­rate at around the five-year mark, or at the end of a long lease. Land­lords who ac­cept that wear and tear is part and par­cel of the rental process, will carry out main­te­nance on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

The long and the short of it is that main­tain­ing a prop­erty gen­er­ally in­creases its value, which means it is in a land­lord's best in­ter­ests to en­sure that it is kept in good shape.

As a rule, it's the land­lord's re­spon­si­bil­ity to dec­o­rate, but this cer­tainly doesn't mean he will nec­es­sar­ily have to bear all the costs. For in­stance, a ten­ant (gen­er­ally one with a short-term lease of a year or less) may be re­quired to for­feit part of his de­posit to fund any dam­age to the walls. How­ever, land­lords have to re­spect that walls will need to be re­painted at some stage, re­gard­less of how well the ten­ant has looked after them, and this could back­fire if the ten­ant dis­putes the fact that he was the sole cause of the dam­age.

So how often should a land­lord re­dec­o­rate? It's a dif­fi­cult ques­tion to an­swer be­cause much will de­pend on the qual­ity of the paint used, the con­di­tion of the walls and the ten­ant.

Tip: use the high­est qual­ity paint you can af­ford. Good paint won't only look bet­ter, it will last longer and un­less the ten­ant pounds a plethora of nails into the walls, should last a good cou­ple of years be­fore it's nec­es­sary to give it a fresh coat. Be wary of al­low­ing the ten­ant to paint a rental unit him­self.

While it may be tempt­ing from a cost-cut­ting point of view, there is a risk that the job will not be up to scratch (or to your taste) and will put off fu­ture ten­ants. This would mean the added ex­pense of hav­ing to re­dec­o­rate again once the cur­rent ten­ant moves out.

Car­pets are a dif­fer­ent an­i­mal all to­gether. A good qual­ity car­pet may look great and will wear bet­ter than a cheap op­tion, but any car­pet is go­ing to look sad if it's not cleaned reg­u­larly. For this rea­son, car­pets should be steam cleaned at the end of ev­ery ten­ancy. Again, the ten­ant could be held re­spon­si­ble for the cost, but land­lords do have to fac­tor in fair wear and tear and un­der­stand that car­pets will get dirty and will need to be cleaned, re­gard­less of how cau­tious a ten­ant is.

This means it shouldn't nec­es­sar­ily be the ten­ant's re­spon­si­bil­ity to foot the bill for the clean. Tip: con­sider switch­ing to tiles or lam­i­nate floor­ing in a rental unit.

When dec­o­rat­ing a rental unit, choose neu­tral colours for the walls. Avoid lay­ing light coloured car­pets and don't do things on the cheap. In­stall a re­li­able stove, or hob and oven, and although it may be tempt­ing to choose a cheaper brand, more ex­pen­sive models gen­er­ally re­quire less main­te­nance. Keep records of when ap­pli­ances were re­placed and the house was re­dec­o­rated as this could help if a ten­ancy dis­pute arises. Con­duct reg­u­lar in­spec­tions dur­ing the lease pe­riod and at­tend to any re­pairs as quickly as pos­si­ble. Not all ten­ants make it their life's mis­sion to wil­fully de­stroy a home, but life hap­pens and some de­gree of dam­age is al­most in­evitable. An in­spec­tion is the per­fect time to speak to the ten­ant if the walls need wash­ing or the car­pets need clean­ing, and you could also ask them to rec­tify any vis­i­ble dam­age. Con­duct a thor­ough in­com­ing and out­go­ing in­spec­tion and if there is dam­age you need to re­pair and you want the ten­ant to pay, pro­vide re­ceipts for all work car­ried out.

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