Landlording and Maintenance: The Essential Tasks

Renting out a house or flat and then forgetting about the property is not on. For one thing, it’s against the law. Proper repair and maintenance is obligatory.

Tenants have a right to accommodation that’s not only safe, but up to a standard that they’re comfortable living in. Landlords are therefore obligated to keep the property in a reasonable state and must carry out regular repair and maintenance to ensure it’s up to standard.

How often should a landlord — or a letting agent managing the property for them — do this? Some things can certainly happen suddenly and require immediate attention, such as electrical or plumbing emergencies that might arise. But for other kinds of maintenance, such as painting and decorating, it may well depend on what the rental agreement says.

Tenants can, of course, do this work on behalf of a landlord. Many will want to paint and decorate rooms to their own taste. However, they can only do so if the tenancy agreement says so, or if they have explicit permission from the landlord. Otherwise, all kinds of repair and maintenance must be carried out by the landlord, or letting agent on their behalf, and they must inform the tenants when it will be done. It’s not enough to give a vague timeframe of some point in the distant future that gives the occupants no idea at all.

The Maintenance Basics

Under the law, landlords are always responsible for repairs to the following essential aspects of a house or flat. They may not refuse to carry out repairs because of tenants’ race, religion, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, or disability. To do so may be unlawful.

Repair responsibilities:

⦿ The structure of a building and the condition of its exterior

⦿ Sinks, basins, baths and other such fittings; this includes the proper working order of drains and pipes

⦿ All gas appliances and associated pipes, ventilation and flues

⦿ The electrical wiring in a house or flat

⦿ Fixing any damage that might be caused when carrying out repairs

Additionally, landlords are typically responsible for the condition of common areas of a building, such as stairs in a block of flats. This may, however, depend on the rental agreement.

Landlord and Tenants: Getting the Delicate Balancing Act Right

Professional Property Management and Maintenance Services

Clearly, there is much repair and maintenance required when renting a property and it can quickly overwhelm even the most industrious of landlords. They can spend much of their time carrying out repairs and maintaining the property, when they could be spending that time focusing on growing their property portfolios instead.

This is why more landlords than ever are choosing to hand the task to professional property management services. Here at Horton and Garton, we’re experts in running landlords’ houses and flats for them. We look after everything, including fixing the kitchen sink.

We also operate an out-of-hours number, so neither landlords nor their tenants are ever left in the lurch when an emergency arises. We use the best local tradesmen to work on whatever needs doing — if it’s a scheduled painting and decorating job, unblocking a bathroom drain, or anything else. As we don’t charge upfront fees but deduct them from the rent, which we collect on landlord’s behalf, the stress and burdens are entirely removed.

It’s landlording made easy.

Wondering how to properly maintain your rental property so your tenants are happy and you’re in compliance with the law? Talk to Horton and Garton today and you can benefit from our vast experience in managing landlords’ properties.