With more and more people finding it hard to buy a home these days, landlords are likely to find they’ve got more customers than ever. For this reason, DIY Newbie is reminding all people in the buy-to-let market of their responsibilities to tenants – and they extend much further than getting the best landlords insurance. Here are five things to think about, whether you’re currently a landlord or thinking of becoming one:
Maintaining the property is perhaps your most important job as a landlord. In order to meet strict housing codes and regulations, you’ll need to keep the building or buildings in good order, through regular maintenance if necessary. Maintenance can relate to numerous different aspects of the property, including the electrical wiring, plumbing and heating system. Any household appliances supplied to the tenant must be kept in good working order. If there are communal areas, these need to kept clean and tidy, while the whole property needs to be weather tight.
Security and safety
This mainly relates to things such as smoke detectors – these must be installed and working properly when a new tenant moves in – how tenants are responsible for maintaining the equipment. You should also provide homes with satisfactory locks and keys and be careful to identify and remove any hazards in stairways, halls and lobbies.
As a landlord, you need to consider your responsibility for repairing the property or properties you own. However, it’s important to note that you only need to carry out repairs to keep the property in the same condition as when the tenant moved in, except for normal wear and tear.
Disposal of waste
If your property is an apartment or studio – but not a house – as a landlord you must arrange for the removal of rubbish.
It’s really important that landlords check their property hasn’t been infested before a tenant moves in, especially as dwellings can be left unoccupied for a number of weeks, months or even years. Once a tenant has moved in, the landlord should continue to deal with infestations, except in a hours or where the tenant has caused the problem (for example, by keeping pets).
And one thing landlords aren’t responsible for…
Damage caused by a property’s tenants
In many cases, a landlord won’t be responsible for paying for the cost of repairing damage caused by tenants. Of course, if the tenants have vacated the property then it may be the case that you need to claim on your landlords insurance to cover the cost of the repair.
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