Quite often your property is the first one your tenants have inhabited independently, they are not used to managing their own homes and have little, if any, experience of dealing with those little issues which can be incredibly irritating to live with, but are often very simple to fix if only they knew know how!
I was talking to a long-term professional landlord the other day and she came up with a surprisingly simple tip to avoid that oh so frustrating iron mark on the carpet, or those parallel burn marks left on bedroom furniture by hot hair straighteners.
She supplies all her tenants with two large ceramic tiles, one marked ‘Iron’, the other ‘Straighteners’. Guess what, she’s never had to argue with the outgoing tenant over burn marks since! To ensure the tiles don’t scratch any wooden surfaces, she attaches felt ‘feet’ underneath.
This month Maria, our property manager, has compiled a list of useful items which can avoid damage to your property. If you provide them with very rudimentary tools, sometimes we can talk them through fixing issues themselves before we have to call out a contractor and incur call out charges.
A plunger under the sink is a great example of this. It means the tenant can check himself that the drains truly are blocked before we call Dyno-Rod and start incurring cost. And how about supplying a bucket to avoid damage to flooring in case of a leak?
Door stops or door springs will avoid plaster damage on walls if doors are allowed to swing back.
Small step ladders allow tenants to change light bulbs which, according to their tenancy agreement,
they should be taking responsibility for. An ironing board will avoid iron shaped burn marks on the carpet – if there’s no storage in a small one-bed, try the ceramic tile tip mentioned above.
If your property has a garden, your tenant is responsible for mowing the lawn and keeping the garden tidy. They are unlikely to have the tools to do this, so providing a simple, sturdy lawnmower means you have a fighting chance that they will fulfil this part of the tenancy agreement.
Outdoor key safes are much cheaper than lock smiths and potentially the tenants only need to be given the code when they have actually locked themselves out. The code should be changed with each change of tenancy.
And one final, very useful addition that we have recently put into one of our one bed flats without a window in the bathroom – a dehumidifier. Typically most flats suffer from condensation issues; anything landlords can do to help the tenants avoid it causing damage is in everyone’s interests. (See also our last newsletter –Condensation: what causes it and how to avoid it). This dehumidifier was portable and only £179 from Argos. It has already made a huge difference.
I am always happy to advise if you are refurbishing and would like to take advantage of my experience on what helps avoid costly contractor callouts and damage to your property. Just give me a call on 01784 495660.