When self-managing a property, tenants will be coming directly to their landlords when something goes wrong, so it is goos to be prepared for the eventual calls that will roll in. Here are some likely ones you will receive and what you should do.
"Help, I’ve been locked out"
Pass. A tenant being locked out is not something a landlord has any responsibility for unless a faulty lock has prevented the tenant gaining access to the property, rather than forgetfulness. If it’s the latter, then there’s no harm keeping a list of good 24-hour locksmiths to hand to give to a distressed tenant, mainly because it will keep landlord-tenant relations on a friendly footing.
"The boiler has stopped working"
Action. Landlords need to maintain hot water and heating systems and have a Gas Safety Certificate to prove it, so if the boiler breaks down it’s your responsibility to fix it.
"Can you come and change my light bulb?"
Pass. Many tenants believe light bulbs are the landlords’ responsibility and not theirs, but they are wrong. Landlords are responsible for a property’s structure and exterior, gas and electrical safety, the safety of any electrical appliances supplied with a property, sanitary installations and heating/hot water systems – but not bulbs.
There are mice in the house!
Action. Although there is no defined legal requirement for a landlord to get rid a property of vermin, it’s probably a good idea that you do. This is partly because tenants have a right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of their property and could claim mice, for example, impinge on this. But on a more practical level, having they are not good for the property’s electrical and plumbing systems. Options are to either to get a professional exterminator in (cost approx. £300) or buy sonic repellents (about £15 each) both of which can be claimed against tax.
"The washing machine has broken down"
Possible action. Most landlords now rent out properties with a washing machine provided and must ensure it is ‘safe to use’ but whether you are responsible for its repair will depend on the detail of your tenancy agreement, which should state what you are or are not responsible – although most landlords do anyway.
If you are currently self-managing your tenant, why not try Martin & Co – Wakefield and see how we can manage the property? We are more than happy to discuss our services.
Call us today on 01924 201457 or alternatively email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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