5 ways to help control the expenditure on a rental property
The simple answer is to trust your agent, however we realise it’s not always as easy as that. So until we at Finders Keepers have earned your trust, here are some other solutions:
1. Recognise and be prepared for the fact that tenants are less tolerant of problems than owners, and (justifiably) less willing to have a go at fixing something themselves. Mark Buckley, our MD for 25 years, always used the car analogy: tenants are like oil in your car – they show up any weak spots quickly.
Showers may suddenly leak or have heat or flow issues, but often a complaint about a non-functioning oven is due to something small such as the timer needing resetting. This is where having an experienced agent really helps: at Finders Keepers we know to judge when to send out a contractor or go to inspect it ourselves first.
2. Agree to a repairs limit. This allows your agent to deal with small problems quickly, without needing your approval. You can then think carefully about how you deal with bigger, more expensive problems, should they arise. Having said that, at Finders Keepers we will always try to get your consent to any expenditure because we know that repairs deplete your monthly rental income.
3. Be realistic. The older the property, especially the interior and fittings, the greater the likelihood of repairs becoming necessary.
4. Keep your rental property as well maintained as your own home (it may, of course, be your home if you are letting it whilst living elsewhere). This definitely reduces repairs to the absolute minimum.
5. Finally, ensure that you arrange to meet your Property Manager at the property at least once a year to see for yourself what needs replacing, redecorating or updating. At Finders Keepers this means we can plan ahead with you so that any work is carried out as cost effectively as possible.
This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our new book: Landlord Intelligence.