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Repairs, repairs, repairs

5th November 2016

As a landlord you are not just an investor, you have certain responsibilities to your tenants.  Investors are just that, they invest in the property and then reap the rewards at the end of the investment.  A landlord on the other hand must offer a property that satisfies basic requirements, such as adequate weather proofing, heat, water, and electricity, sanitary, and a structurally safe home.  This may seem like a big task to undertake as you look at the empty shell that you have just acquired!

You could contact the local council, they typically set specific standards, such as the minimum requirements for light, ventilation, and electrical wiring; however this will more than likely put your head in a spin.  It is important to make sure that before a tenant moves in to the property, you have done everything you can to reduce possible future issues.

Tenants also have the responsibility to keep the property clean and sanitary.  If they do not, they can’t simply call you and ask you to tidy up their mess as this will be down to their negligence.

Once a tenancy has started there will always be issues, but we will be there to sort out the issues as quickly as possible and determine if the issues are related to the tenant’s neglect or not.  There are a few steps that can be taken when the repair is your responsibility as you can usually request the tenant to repair in exchange for a reduction in rent.  If the tenant fails to do the job well, however, you are not excused from your responsibility to maintain the property in a habitable condition.  It is often quicker and more cost effective to arrange for a contractor to attend to the issue and have it resolved by a professional.

In a worst case situation if you ignore the repair issue a tenant can withhold the rent until the problem is fixed; call the Council, who can order you to make repairs; or even sue you for a partial refund of past rent, discomfort, annoyance, and emotional distress caused by the poor conditions!!!

Chances are that your investment that you thought would look after itself may involve a little more hard work than you first expected, so you may want to use a full lettings management service to reduce your headache.  At Sow & Reap not only can we find a suitable tenant for your investment but we can also take over managing your property.  So why don’t you allow us to be the middle man and handle all issues that may arise, leaving you with more time and less stress.  Contact our office and have a chat with me to discuss your investment.

Richard Bond

Lettings Management

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