Whether it is wear and tear, damage reversal or large scale property maintenance, paying for repairs is part and parcel of owning a buy-to-let property.
While smartening up the décor for new tenants is optional, some projects are unavoidable. In fact, many repair and maintenance jobs are legal requirements now or may be when the proposed Decent Homes Standard comes into effect. These include electrical safety checks, gas appliance servicing and rectifying other issues that could endanger the life of a tenant, as is fixing defects that compromise the living conditions of their home.
Planning for costs is key
No one likes a hefty repair bill so it’s important to budget carefully for such expenses, planning for the recurring, regular and predictable, as well as anything unexpected.
Despite careful planning these costs can add up and when put into the context of the wider financial picture, they can put landlords under significant pressure. Landlords’ margins have become incredibly tight since the cost of living crisis, soaring inflation and high mortgage rates. In fact, if profits are just £7 per annum, as we have already reported, it is likely that landlords will have to pay for repairs out of their own pocket.
Landlords face a range of maintenance issues
The frequency and cost of repairs for a buy-to-let is eye watering, with around 72 repairs done on a property over an average ownership of nine years. This maintenance could add up to more than £34,000 – a figure that’s part of wider research into the issue by agent Benham and Reeves.
The costliest repairs tend to relate to roofs at around £3,500 across the span of buy-to-let ownership, whereas replacing white goods costs around £3,200 and is the second highest overall maintenance cost, although the lowest frequency. The third largest total cost is attached to repainting a rental property, which can total an average of £2,992.
Whilst these examples only happen a handful of times during a landlord’s ownership, the cost of treating persistent issues, such as pests or damp/mould can accumulate quickly, totalling £2,920 and £2,752, respectively.
Choose a quick cash sale if you’re pushed to the limit
If you are a landlord with slim profits and feel you are pushed to your feasibility limits by property maintenance, you may consider selling your buy-to-let an attractive option.
With a quick cash sale to LandlordBuyer, selling up could be ideal for landlords with imminent maintenance issues. LandlordBuyer will purchase any buy-to-let ‘as seen’, with no need to complete repairs or smarten it up. As an example, we bought this rental property from a landlord quickly and for cash, despite it requiring a full renovation.