Landlords have a lot of work cut out for them. Maintaining their properties is not always a straightforward obligation, either.
Moreover, some of these individuals can have more empathy than others, keeping rents low despite landlords’ poor reputation in the media. Those who are more caring may have additional responsibilities around maintaining their properties and going the extra mile for their tenants.
So, what are some of the most important things landlords need to know about their maintenance obligations? A few pointers are provided below.
Seek Legal Counsel
Every landlord can have a different set of maintenance obligations. Because of this, some can be confused or forgetful of their obligations.
If landlords have any uncertainty about where they stand, they should consult informative legal resources that provide clarity for them. Key points to consider are landlords being:
- Responsible for general repair of the property.
- Accountable for the costs incurred.
- Answerable to any tenant requests to fix parts of the property.
- Willing to fulfil any additional measures set out in the tenancy agreement.
Communication lines must be kept open with the tenant or with the agent if they communicate on each person’s behalf. Only then can the landlord have an accurate idea of what work maintenance work needs doing.
Keep Track of the Law
Laws change in all circles, and landlords are no exception. They must monitor new regulations and comply with them.
For example, The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into effect only two years ago. These measures meant landlords now have to get electrical installations in their property inspected and tested by qualified personnel. They must also take the findings of the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) seriously, as it identifies any damage and defects that could cause dangers and recommends improvements.
The service that landlords use to address these issues matters, too, enabling repairs and improvements to take place efficiently and affordably. An electrical safety certificate for landlords can be procured from Trade Facilities Services. They explain that these checks must occur once every 5 years or when a tenancy ends. The firm also suggests the landlord EICR must be kept safe with a copy provided to tenants also.
The Benefits of a Fast Response
Tenants will likely stay in a property for longer if maintenance is carried out promptly. The diligence of the landlord shows that standards are being met and occupant well-being matters.
After all, not every landlord is responsive when carrying out these works. Some may refuse to carry out these obligations entirely, looking for any loophole or excuse they can to shirk their responsibilities. The reputation of landlords has declined so much that tenants may almost expect evasiveness and frustration on crucial matters. However, if landlords can meet the moment, tenants will stay and pay rent over a prolonged period.
Keeping the property in good condition on time may also mean landlords can charge more in rent. Of course, the price should still be fair, but it can also reflect the property’s overall quality. If that benchmark is high, the rent can rise with it. Landlords should keep this in mind if they are ever less motivated to keep things running efficiently.