Minimize Your Repair Bills By Arranging Inspections With Your Tenant

Minimize Your Repair Bills By Arranging Inspections With Your Tenant

Minimize Your Repair Bills By Arranging Inspections With Your Tenant

Some landlords go into the business believing that the only cost they really need to worry about is their mortgage. They soon learn the truth: that the mortgage is just one of many costs they will have to meet as a landlord.

If you have been in the business for any length of time, you have probably been hit with big repair bills a few times. Every landlord dreads that early morning phone call telling them they need to get an emergency plumber out. Unexpected emergencies have to be dealt with quickly, and that often makes them costly. If other unexpected costs, such as tenant arrears and void periods happen to come along at the same time, you could start to struggle. The solution is to take steps to avoid big repair bills by paying attention to the small things, such as:
Make sure you keep up with regular maintenance

This means dealing with the little jobs before they become big ones. Encourage your tenants to report problems and carry out regular inspections to check for those they don’t report. That little patch of mould behind the wardrobe might just be there because the tenants haven’t been opening the windows, but it could be indicative of a much bigger, more expensive problem.
Choose your tenants carefully

Good tenants help you out by co-operating with you over maintenance issues. Bad tenants can cause problems or make them worse by throwing big parties and failing to respect bans on smoking or pets.
Choose your property carefully

Older properties often look attractive, but they are not always the best choice. There are often big bills lurking behind those attractive bay windows and high ceilings, particularly if the property has not been well maintained. That said, new properties are not always well-built, with paper-thin walls and doors that are easily damaged. Get a qualified builder to look over a property before you buy any property.

You won’t avoid every repair bill by doing these things, but you should avoid the nastiest of surprises. For those things that you just can’t avoid, such as weather damage, see if you can take out landlords insurance to help you cover the costs.

Inspecting properties is part of a landlord’s job that most dread, and if it isn’t arranged properly the relationship between you and your tenants could deteriorate remarkably quickly. Unfortunately, the only way you can be sure your properties are being properly taken care of is to inspect them yourself every now and again, so what’s the best way of going about it?
Use your Tenancy Agreements

Before you let out a property make sure your tenancy agreement includes information on inspections so that they are clear right from the beginning. Four inspections per year is an agreeable amount as it means you are not constantly pestering your tenants yet will be able to keep an eye on your property at regular intervals. If you are renting out to students maybe change it so that the checks are performed at the beginning or end of each term – whatever you decide make sure you talk to your tenants about it before they move in so everyone is clear on the plans.
Plan the Inspection

Before you go to a tenants’ property you should have a list of everything you want to check which should include the appliances, wiring, smoke alarms, general state of the property and anything else you can think of. You should also call your tenant a week before your agreed date of the inspection to remind them and ask if there is anything they would like you to look at whilst you’re there. By knowing in advance of any problems you may be able to plan your inspection more thoroughly and figure out initial costs with your landlord insurance provider for maintenance and repairs.
Keep your Tenants in Mind

If you want your tenants to be polite and understanding when it comes to inspections you need to keep in mind that they are probably not thrilled to have you coming in to what they consider their home. To make the whole situation easier, make sure you always turn up on time and try to do the inspection as quickly as possible. If you do find problems with the property try to address these with your tenants in a calm and business-like manner so that you can resolve it quickly and then carry on with the rest of your day!

Inspections can be extremely stressful if they are not planned properly, and this can lead to some heated conversations with your tenants. Make sure that you try to work with your tenants as much as possible, but don’t be afraid to stand your ground when something is just not right!

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