You have done what you set out to do, you have become a landlord and you are now hoping to be on the path towards a passive income and that all illusive dream of house prices doubling which please please please I hope we eventually see in the North East.
If you have done your sums you will know that you have your fixed out goings (mortgage payments and insurance) as well as reactive maintenance costs. What I wanted to talk about in this e-shot is the LONG term maintenance that a lot of landlords do not plan for and you need to be aware of.
LONG TERM MAINTENANCE – plan and it will save you money in the long term!
Gutters/Drainpipes – if they are blocked or broken, they can cause water damage to your property. Prevention is better than cure, so you should clear out gutters regularly and inspect for any damage.
Trees and Bushes – they may look pretty but they can become problems. Greenery close to your home should be pruned properly so that any leaves don’t block the gutters. Also big trees can start to effect the foundations of your property so make sure that you keep larger trees under control. An example of how this has affected me recently is a property that I own in Stockton-on Tees. A shrub/tree has started to somehow penetrated my rear brick yard wall. This has caused the wall to weaken and if I had only just pruned it back in the first place I would not have this issue. Lesson learnt and that’s where this e-shot has come from!
Re-pointing the cement in your bricks will not last forever. If you have bought a typical 1900’s terraced property in the North East then it may need repointing if it has never had work done on it before. If you don’t repoint areas of brick work, it will only lead to internal damp penetration which will affect the internal decoration of your property and will eventually cost you more.
Central Heating – you may think that just doing your annual gas check is enough (CP12). Like a car, your boiler will need to be serviced, especially if you have a back boiler in your property, I recommend that this has to be done on an annual basis or you are just setting yourself up for a future problem.
Exterior Paint – if the exterior paintwork is flaking, you could end up with rotting windows or damp walls. I would recommend that you plan for a schedule of works for windows, sills, exterior door steps etc. to be painted once every five to ten years to keep your property in tip top condition.
Outside wood work – if you have decking in your rental property or wooden fences, do not expect your tenants to weather treat these. If you do not have a maintenance schedule to paint these you are just waiting for them to rot and need replacing.
Fascia and soffits – I have found over the years this is one of the biggest areas that landlords try and save money on but it will always bite them in the bum later on when they have damp/condensation problems in first floor bedrooms.
Kitchens and bathrooms – if you have gone into property to make it your pension pot this may be a 20/25 year investment. Kitchens and bathrooms are the biggest selling points of any property. A simple rule – the better these areas are the BETTER TENANT you will get. Do not think that you will never have to upgrade your bathroom or kitchen!!
The reason why we have been so successful at NGU Homelettings is that we are landlords ourselves. We know the inside tips that you need to be aware of to make sure that your rental property goes to plan. If you want to be with a letting agency that pays attention to the small details we are ready to help.
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