Top DIY tips for landlords
Whether you’re managing one property or are in possession of a sprawling portfolio, maintenance and upkeep costs can quickly add up. If you want to keep your properties in good shape while still retaining a healthy bottom line, the best solution is often to roll up your sleeves and tackle the tasks yourself.
Learning how to do simple DIY tasks mean you won’t need to rely on (or pay) traders for every little issue that crops up. You’ll feel more self-sufficient and your tenants can enjoy the quicker response you’ll now be able to provide (no more waiting around for a contractor to be free). But, if you’re anything like the 23.5 million Brits who say they’d need to turn to the internet to solve their DIY dilemmas, you might need a helping hand to get started.
We’ve compiled a few tips to help you figure out where to focus your efforts for the most success.
1. Tackle the essentials first
A recent study found that 68% of homeowners tend to concentrate their DIY efforts on fixing the general appearance of their home, wisely leaving the essential maintenance to the pros. So, instead of ‘papering over the cracks’, make sure you invest in a trader to address any structural, electrical, heating or plumbing issues your property might have.
2. Think about what tenants want
Learn what your ideal tenants look for in a home to focus your DIY efforts towards their needs. Which? ran a survey to help you do just that. At the top of the list? A property’s electrical and technological capabilities, storage space and bigger rooms. This suggests you might want to start by teaching yourself things like building shelves and cabinets, adding electrical sockets and even how to safely knock down walls.
3. Target common problem areas
As well as catering to what tenants want, think about what tenants complain about. Whether that’s blocked drains, broken appliances, heating problems or windows refusing to open, learning how to solve these common issues yourself can save both money and time.
4. Take your time
As a final note, when you’re a newbie to DIY or a seasoned tinkerer, it’s important you spend time making sure you’re getting it right. We recommend scheduling your DIY projects between tenancies. It’s a clever way to make use of the downtime and leaves you free to work without the fear of disrupting tenants. After all, going the DIY route can easily backfire if you rush your work and end up not addressing the problem properly (not to mention having to hire an expert to fix what you’ve done). Give yourself as much time as possible, check your work every step of the way and consult with an expert if you’re ever unsure.
Hopefully the tips above have helped you get started in adding DIY into your skillset. By planning intelligently, directing your efforts wisely and taking the time to do it right, you can soon become confident taking on any DIY project, big or small.