Arranging normal repairs

  • No matter how trivial a fault may seem it’s always worth getting the fault fixed as soon as possible. Leaving a problem will only accomplish two things:
  • The tenant will be annoyed as they may feel they are being neglected and their needs are not being met fully.
  • The risk is being run of the problem getting worse and possibly more expensive to fix.
  • It is important that a landlord always keeps some cash in hand to cover the cost of any repairs that are needed on the property. It is normal to keep afloat of about 10% of the rent available to cover these costs.

    • When maintenance is the responsibility of the landlord

    • Whilst some smaller jobs such as changing a light bulb can be undertaken by the tenant, there are other jobs that are clearly the responsibility of the landlord. This is anything in the “implied terms” even if the tenancy agreement doesn’t mention them. These are items such as the structure of the building, heating systems and sanitation.
    • If a job falls into the second category the landlord is duty bound to fix the problem in a reasonable amount of time. If the job is in the first category, then its worth being as helpful as you can whilst stressing that the tenant can do the job their selves. This is to avoid being called out at all times for what may be trivial jobs that are not the responsibility of the landlord.

      Finding a tradesperson

    • Repairs of course can be carried out by the landlord, but this should only be done if the repairs can be done to a professional standard and the appropriate certificates are held. A landlord who has been in the “business” a few years will have a listing of appropriate and reliable trades people he can use. Anyone new to the business will have to build up this knowledge and be reactive as jobs appear.
    • A landlord can of course use sites such as MyBuilder ( which saves ringing round to get quotes if there is not a favoured trades person available.
    • When posting a job provide as much information as possible including photographs. If sufficient detail is provided a tradesperson should be able to provide an all-inclusive quote without seeing the job site. If the job is routine maintenance and under about £200 in cost, then as long as the tradesperson looks reliable with good reviews then it’s not really worth getting more quotes as the costs won’t vary that much.
    • For larger jobs such as major building works then a site visit will be required to provide an accurate quote.
    • Whoever gets the job they should provide the following:
    • Valid liability insurance
    • Be a member of any relevant trades body
    • Be willing to provide an all-in quote (parts and labour) and not a by the hour cost
    • Guarantee that the job will be completed to a set timescale

      Instructing the repair and checking the standard of work

    • If the tenant wants to meet the tradesperson, ensure that he does not take instructions from the tenant. They should report back to the landlord who should decide what is done and when.
    • Once the work is done payment should only be made once the landlord is satisfied that the problem is fixed, and the work is to the required standard. Being there at the end of the work in person is the best solution to ensure a smooth conclusion to the task. If the tradesperson is reliable and work is to standard, then always ensure payment is made promptly. This ensures that the trades person knows the landlord is reliable and in future maybe, able to undertake work at short notice.