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Landlords – why a tenant reporting a dripping tap could save you a fortune!

January 13, 2010

As a landlord it can be frustrating when you’re busy/ having a bad day/ being shouted at by the boss/ etc for a tenant to call and report a minor problem such as a leaky tap.   It’s easy to think of the tenant as being pedantic – as hassling over nothing…

BUT tenants who report these minor repairs are often doing you a big favour – as they are being proactive on your part. When you have proactive tenants 9 times out of 10 major property problems can be avoided – because they have spotted the warning signs first.  The key issue is for you, as the landlord, to listen and do something about these minor issues before they grow into bigger problems. That means keeping a list of the minor items and assessing when to send a tradesman to attend.

A small drip from a pipe under the sink may not sound like much at the beginning…BUT leave it 6 months and you could find yourself having to replace an entire kitchen unit due to the damage caused, when if you had attended to it at the start it may have only cost a few pounds to repair/ replace the pipework.

Being proactive means you have to be organised and ask questions. Being proactive means you undertake regular property inspections and you talk to tenants about any problems they have/ had with the  property – and let them talk.  Tenants need to be able to talk openly and honestly about problems with the property (without fear they may get into trouble/ evicted for doing so).  This will work better for you in the long run – property problems always come to light and the damp that may have been hidden will rear its ugly head again!

In the short term being pro-active may feel like the expensive route – but in the long run, being pro-active and encouraging your tenants to be pro-active will ensure you have a better property for longer – Bringing people & property together

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2010 8:56 am

    I completely agree Sam. Last summer I replaced the whole floor of a bedroom in a friend’s rental property, because he had neglected to stop the damp problem in one of the walls. The cause? A corroded and weeping copper pipe, unprotected from the alkali in the cement. AND a leaking outside downpipe. AND a leak under the bath! The wall was wringing wet! He’d known about the problems but had chosen to ‘save money’, just boarding over the damp patches so as to get the property let again as soon as possible. It was an older property so the joists were set into the wall. All the ends were rotten, but he didn’t even know about it until I pointed out that the floor was an inch below the skirting board – they certainly didn’t put the skirting on like that! If it had been left another year it would have collapsed with potentially deadly consequences.

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  2. January 14, 2010 10:02 am

    Wise words!!

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