How much does the average landlord spend on maintenance each year?

When renting out a property, repairs are inevitable. Whether caused by tenants, bad plumbing, or intense weather conditions, as a landlord, you’re responsible for most of the repairs in your home. Over time, costs can start to add up rapidly, especially if you are letting multiple properties.

Related topics:  Landlords
Property Reporter
5th September 2022
DIY 66

Landlord insurance experts at Towergate Insurance surveyed 1,000 UK landlords to explore the costs associated with maintaining and repairing a rental property, revealing what repairs are costing them the most.

Repairing appliances exceeding the value of £100 is costing landlords in the UK the most. Whether it be faulty fridges or overheating ovens, landlords are spending an average of £655.9 every 22 months on respective repairs.

Roof leaks rank second, costing landlords £608.03 on average every 19 months, working out to around £1,920.1 every five years.

In third place are carpeting and flooring repairs, costing £540.77 every 22 months followed by boiler problems (£534.88) and heating problems (£479.94) respectively ranking fourth and fifth.

How successful are landlord DIY repairs?

While just under half of UK landlords (41%) have gone down this DIY route, almost the same number (35%) regret fixing something themselves.

The main reason landlords regret fixing issues themselves is that they’ve failed to fix the problem, with 29% reporting that they caused more damage. Other common outcomes of DIY repairs have been tenant complaints (24%) and long-lasting damage (14%).

38% of landlords that have tried to repair something themselves also had to have their work redone by a professional, often spending more money than if they had had the repairs made by tradesmen in the first place.

Top tips for saving money on your rental

Rita Bradley, a London-based landlord of over 10 years provides her top tips on saving money on maintaining your rental:

1. Selecting the right DIY jobs

Carrying out maintenance work yourself is a great way of saving money, however, it is key to understand your capabilities and take the time to consider whether cutting costs on a professional is worth it in the long run. Botching a DIY job is not only a waste of time and money, but it can also negatively impact your relationship with a tenant, who will undoubtedly become frustrated if damages are not consistently repaired to a high standard.

2. Interviewing tenants

Interviewing tenants before you commit, and potentially visiting them in their current dwelling is a great way to get a feel of how well they will look after your property, indirectly reducing the potential for damage or repairs. Providing guidance to your tenants on how to look after and preserve goods within the property is another great way to reduce the likelihood of repairs down the line, specifically when it comes to white goods and electricals.

3. On-going inspections

Carrying out ongoing inspections is the best way to stay on top of maintenance and to avoid damages, that your tenants may not have spotted, progressing into bigger repair jobs. These check-ins provide can also provide an opportunity for your tenants to raise any queries or concerns with the property.

Alison Wild, Head of SME Marketing, from Towergate Insurance, said: “There is no legal requirement to obtain landlord insurance, however, it is a great way to avoid putting yourself at financial risk in the future, giving you peace of mind. Landlord insurance protects you as the property owner from financial losses connected to the rental, such as theft, fire, or weather damage and can be extended to include coverage for things like loss of rent.

"There are a range of different landlord insurance policies, most of which include buildings insurance and property owners’ liability insurance but can be expanded to include policies such as contents insurance. Selecting the right policy is bespoke to you and your property, it is important to consider your location, the types of tenants and the content within your property when selecting the right coverage.”

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