It is useful at the start of your journey as a landlord, and periodically throughout, to accept services for the property which are beyond your capabilities. These services can cover a variety of areas that work to protect your interests, avoid extra risk to new tenants, and prevent costly oversights.
Here are a handful of the types of services that a new rental owner or landlord may want to consider.
Fire Risk Assessments for Older Properties
While newer properties are often built using materials that are flame resistant and pose far less risk, it’s not the same with older properties.
While providing fire extinguishers of the right type and fire blankets along with CO2 alarms and gas detectors is very necessary, that only goes so far. With a fire assessment, it’s all about looking for places of vulnerability to prevent or significantly lower the risk of a bad outcome. Recommendations are often made, and fixes can be applied to reduce any future fire risk considerably.
Asbestos Management Surveying
Asbestos is no longer used in newer structures, but it was sometimes utilized in properties built in the 1950s to 1970s. As such, with an older block of flats, it is somewhat common to find a little bit of asbestos used here and there.
The areas of a building where asbestos is most likely to be discovered are in the flooring, textured coatings, the lagging, the ceiling, or within the cement.
For older properties, getting an Asbestos Management Survey performed can confirm whether the block has any longstanding issues in this regard. Given that exposure can cause serious respiratory diseases or worse, this is well worth doing for older buildings where its presence is a possibility.
Block of Flat or Landlord Insurance
Specific insurance for owners of a block of flats, or as a landlord of one or more properties made available for rental, is very necessary. Other types of insurance might not provide cover for rental properties, so it’s worth looking at the small print to be sure.
While the cover will often address areas of concern both inside and outside the property, some policies may also include personal liability coverage to protect you from potential lawsuits. A company like Deacon (deacon.co.uk) has access to multiple insurers and can help you seek a competitive quote as a building owner renting to tenants.
While the tenants may choose to remedy minor cosmetic issues themselves if they’re handy with a wrench or a paintbrush, most tenants will leave all maintenance matters up to the landlord or managing agent.
It’s important to have regular maintenance performed where it’s required. For a block of flats, this might include work on the roof, or clearing the guttering in the autumn to prevent overflowing water falling to the ground creating a safety hazard. A large central boiler that provides hot water to the radiators in several flats in a block may require yearly servicing and parts replacement to keep it operational too.
By hiring in the services required, a block of flats or individual rental can be set up correctly and be well-managed annually from thereon.