Being a landlord comes with many responsibilities, and anyone who is planning on renting a property should do their due diligence and make sure the home is fit for rent. This not only protects your tenant; it also protects your investment.
Older properties can be full of character and quirks and are often in high demand in the rental market, but this can sometimes come at a cost. There are some things that any landlord should be aware of when renting a period property so they can avoid problems further down the line that can eat into their profits. Here are five potential pitfalls that every landlord should know when they are renting an older property.
Is the Heating System Up-to-Date?
One of the first things you should investigate when looking at an older home is its heating system, which your tenant will need to see them through the winter. An outdated heating system can be expensive to run, expensive to maintain, and also be less safe to use than its modern equivalent.
Check the Wiring
Before you buy or let an older property, you should conduct electrical testing first. Trade Facilities Services have lots of experience checking and testing home electrical supplies and wiring and can help you complete electrical testing before you let your property.
Old wiring can be an electric shock hazard and a fire hazard, so as a landlord, you need to have your property’s electrical system thoroughly checked by a professional before your tenant moves in.
Is There a Damp Problem in the Home?
Older properties often suffer from damp, especially if the property has been extended over the years. Damp can be a sign of a larger problem with the structure of the home, so you need to be on the lookout for signs of damp when evaluating a property to buy or when you are getting it ready for a tenant. The building may need some damp-proofing work to exterior walls, or have its cavity wall insulation reapplied.
Check the Loft Insulation
You want the home you rent to be warm and pleasant to live in if you want to keep hold of your tenants and maintain occupancy. One of the biggest causes of a cold home is substandard loft insulation.
Investigate the loft space and make sure you have thick and efficient insulation to help hold the heat inside the home. If it isn’t in good shape, don’t worry; not only is it quick and easy to replace, but the work can often be completed for free or heavily discounted under government schemes for warmer homes.
Make Sure the Roof is in Good Condition
Perhaps the biggest concern in any property is the roof, and older properties are much more likely to have roofing problems.
The roof helps keep a home weather-proof, dry, and warm, and it can be very costly to fix and replace. This work can also be inconvenient, so you want it completed while no one lives at the home to save both time and money and complaints from a tenant. Have a professional roofer check your roof for issues before letting an older home, and have them check your guttering while they are up there. Poor drainage can cause water damage to roofs and external brickwork.
Older properties are full of character and are often a much better financial investment than new-build properties. If you check for these five potential pitfalls before you buy a property or let one to a tenant, you should be able to avoid any costly problems and maximise your return.