While there are many reasons people become landlords, there are no two ways about it – the most popular reason is the income it comes with. If you’re a landlord, you may well have invested savings or taken out a buy-to-let mortgage on a property. You’ll be thinking about the return on the investment in terms of rental yields and the property’s potential value in the future.
Whether you’re a landlord through choice or an accidental landlord, perhaps through inheritance, you must think of it properly as a business, keeping your costs low as much as possible, while at the same time providing a decent and safe place that your tenant calls their home.
Of course, you want to keep costs low, but you must also think about it in terms of protecting your asset.
To help you, we’ve put together the top five ways landlords can reduce upkeep costs.
If you’re a landlord then get in touch with us as we also have more detailed help and advice to offer.
Survey and list inventory
The best way to manage upkeep costs is to get it right at the start. Have professional surveys done to see if any issues need looking at in the immediate future, as any delays could incur additional costs further down the line.
You should also carry out an inventory of the property prior to a new tenant moving in. Not only will this give you indications of any potential issues that need your attention, but you’ll know every detail of the house before a tenant moves in.
Top Tip: It is possible to do inventories yourself, and you’re probably very capable, but we would recommend using professionals to get the job done as it will save you time and money in the long run.
Get the right tenants – and be the right landlord
Landlords often focus on securing the right tenants, and we understand why – you want your place to be looked after, and you want to make sure the rent comes in on time and in full.
So, there’s definitely something in the fact that getting the right tenants helps you keep upkeep costs low. Good tenants are likely to take care of the property and notify you if anything needs attending to. But you need to be a good landlord too.
We suggest that you should be an outstanding landlord by making sure you keep your property in good condition and attend to anything that needs fixing quickly. Not only do you maintain a good relationship with your tenant, but you make sure your investment is looked after.
Top Tip: Be contactable and be responsive. Show you care about the property and the people living in it.
Set out your expectations from the start of a tenancy. Obviously, there are contractual matters, but when you’re speaking with the tenant, let them know what is expected of them regarding upkeep and when to let you, the landlord, know if something needs doing.
Top Tip: Make sure you and your tenant know what outcomes to expect should they contact you. If they call you about an issue, they need to know you’ll get the issue under control within a reasonable timeframe.
Be quick, but don’t cut corners
When you know you need a job doing, get it done quickly as this will prevent issues (and costs) from escalating. Don’t be tempted to cut costs by getting a cheap solution just because you don’t want to pay. A cheap job may mean it isn’t completed correctly and will only need doing again later. You will probably save money initially by doing the job yourself, but it’s better to call in the professionals.
Top Tip: Keep a list of when you have needed to carry out repairs and the tradespeople who completed the jobs for you. Trusted contacts and suppliers are important.
Let us do it for you
We have years of experience helping landlords manage and maintain their properties.
While some of our clients look after the properties themselves, we’re often trusted to fulfil that role with our full property management service. It means we will keep on top of things for you, and act quickly when a fast response is needed. It also means that you can rest safe in the knowledge that your investment is in tip-top condition, and your asset is looked after.
Top Tip: If you choose a lettings agency to manage your property, make sure you know exactly what they are doing for their money.
As a landlord, keeping your upkeep costs low will take time and thought, and getting it right from the start is crucial.