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The Two Types of Property Maintenance

Ah the joys of property maintenance. Most landlords/property investors (at least the good ones) are painfully aware of the subject, but they sometimes don't realise that there are really two types.

Ah the joys of property maintenance. Most landlords/property investors (at least the good ones) are painfully aware of the subject, but they sometimes don’t realise that there are really two types.

Firstly the one that most of us are already conscious of and take for granted e.g. routine repairs. Your tenant/agent calls and says the boilers broken, beds collapsed or whatever. It can be vary from the ‘oh my god’ of major roof repairs or floods to ‘thank god’ of just bleeding a radiator.

In general it’s said that landlords should allow the equivalent of 10% of their annual rental income for maintenance. Naturally it will vary with the type of property e.g. new build V 100 year old tenement flat, how well its been maintained before it was let. Additionally the type of tenant will affect it, a House in Multiple Occupancy will ‘generally’ have more maintenance issues than a one bedroom flat with a little old lady living in, sorry but its true.

As I mentioned most landlords are aware of this and within reason, take it in their stride. We do still get the odd one who when the shower breaks accuses the tenant of taking the cover off and attacking it with a screwdriver or even showering too much. Now I’m the first to be sceptical when a tenant calls (being a suspicious, sceptical little Dachshund goes with the job) but come on, lets be realistic.

The main type of maintenance I want to highlight here is the one that hardly anyone thinks about until it needs doing, its not caused by tenants (well not directly anyway), or even the elements but by the most implacable foe of all…. Time.

I have some landlords who have been letting their property through Belvoir Lettings Dundee for years, even a decade or more but what some of them occasionally forget is the passage of time the effects this causes

They often have a strong mental picture of the property when they were living in it or when they bought it, but time marches on. The flat has probably had several sets of tenants through it. Children, possibly pets living there and probably thousands of individual footsteps on the carpet, showers taken and meals cooked. None of this is surprising when you consciously think about it but people don’t.

It’s like meeting an old friend you haven’t seen in decades, possibly since university or school. The person you remember probably wasn’t follicley challenged, didn’t have a large collection of ‘laughter lines’ and may not have struggled to get to the top deck on the bus. The shock when you bump into them and get a reality check can be quite strong.

It is the same for properties! Occasionally we contact the landlord to suggest that the reason the property isn’t letting as well this time round is because one of the carpets needs replacing or the place would benefit from some redecoration or something similar. Normally it not a problem but sometimes we do get the ‘but the carpet was new only (pick a figure) years ago. Then when we dig a little deeper it turns out that the carpet was several years old before we let it for the first time, which was five years ago and there have been three families in there since.

All I’m saying is that we all need to bear in mind the march of time, the increased wear and tear that is the nature of lettings and act accordingly. After all, would most of us leave redecoration etc for such extended periods in our own homes? I know that if my kennel wasn’t repainted occasionally I would be a sulky little Dachshund.

 

Love Miss Toots X

(Belvoir Lettings Dundee – Property Dachshund)

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