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There’s a blurred line between which repairs are the landlords responsibility and the tenants responsibility. I’ll admit that when I moved into my first rental property before I worked in the lettings industry, I certainly put every little job down to the landlord. That was until I was charged a whopping £100 for a simple TV aerial!
Now, as a landlord myself, I can see how annoying I was being by nagging my agency about every little thing that was clearly my responsibility. Yes, a roof collapsing is clearly something that you, as a landlord, would need to deal with, but a light bulb going out (yes we’ve had those calls!)
Repairs that are the tenants’ responsibility
- Damage to anything that belongs to the tenant (e.g. if the cooker is the tenants own then they need to make the necessary moves to get it fixed)
- Damage caused by the tenant, their visitors or any family members. For example; smashing a door, breaking a window, blocking a drain (by flushing away nappies etc.)
- Mowing the lawn and taking care of cutting back shrubs, plants etc.
- Buying and changing light bulbs and smoke alarm batteries.
- Keeping the house presentable and the outside areas clear from any rubbish.
- Decorating the house (excluding wear and tear)
- Avoiding damp by keeping the property ventilated (opening windows and vents etc.)
- Fitting (new) TV aerials, broadband and telephone connections.
- Removal of pest infestations that occur during the tenancy, if anything is there when they move in that is your responsibility.
Here at our letting agency in Newport we have a process in place when taking maintenance calls which includes categorising repairs into priority levels;
We can then deal with them appropriately. If it’s something simple like the electricity going out, we try to eliminate any pointless call-outs by going through possible causes. For example: it could be a simple check of the fuse box or a meter with no credit! You’d be surprised how often this happens.
It’s an easy way to save yourself time and money. The key thing is to confirm your maintenance policy in advance or even in the tenancy agreement. This will then minimise the risk of having to disappoint your tenants when they may have reported the repair.