Taking on a house to rent out can seem like a business-savvy decision, and indeed it can often be an investment that pays off well. However, once you have got tenants in situ, there are additional responsibilities that you hold as a landlord beyond just owning the property. This includes ensuring the property is in good running order and maintained to a quality standard. This is important in keeping your tenants satisfied, as they can move out if they’re unhappy with the property, and empty houses can be costly to you. However, it’s also key for ensuring your property is kept to a good level of care and attention. This can encourage tenants to treat it well, but can also help you establish if they cause any damage.
One of the key landlord responsibilities you hold is to assess any fire risks, and to put in place procedures to help prevent these from escalating into a problem. This might mean moving soft furnishings away from naked flames, fixing broken electricity sockets, removing highly flammable materials from the building of the house if they pose a risk, installing a smoke detector alarm and carbon monoxide alarm, ensuring there is a fire extinguisher at the property, and installing fire doors and fire escape lights.
Other key responsibilities you hold include repairing garden paths, fences, walls and gates, and replacing wheelie bins every few years if necessary. It is also key that you maintain any communal areas in flats, unless the council or another body is responsible for them. You will also be in charge of any outside repair work, particularly to structural areas such as walls, doors, chimneys, guttering, and drains. If the exterior needs painting, this will also be something you need to do, unless it is managed by flat management services.
Inside, the level of decoration and furnishing is very much at your discretion. This will play a key part in making your property liveable and rent-worthy. However, once it is to a good standard, it is the tenants responsibility to keep the interior in reasonable decorative order. If there are any electrical wiring and appliance issues, particularly with fires and heaters, these will be for the landlord to check and repair. Likewise, landlords must install NIHE-approved cookers and stoves, conduct annual services of heating appliances, and ensure all safety checks have been undertaken. They are also responsible for any issues with plumbing such as blocked sewers and drains, and waste pipes, and fixing broken boilers.
Get in touch with us today to carry out a professional fire risk assessment in your property.