London landlords spend £5,000 a year on repairs

Maintenance is the biggest buy to let expense for landlords – with a quarter spending more than £5,000 a year on repairs on central London homes.

Insurance is the next largest expense – with 14% of landlords spending £2,000 a year or more on cover.

The figures come from a survey by market research firm BDRC Continental.

Director Mark Long explained: “There are a lot of costs associated with being a private landlord, not least maintenance, insurance and professional advice from accountants and solicitors. However our survey tells us that the market for private rental across London is strong and landlords feel positive about their prospects, so despite the costs, the market for letting property in the capital in London remains buoyant and profitable.”

The survey also revealed that despite these costs, 48% of landlords in Central London and 36% in Outer London make a full time profitable living from letting, compared to the UK average of %.

Meanwhile, many landlords ignore repairs and fail to inspect their letting properties regularly to highlight maintenance problems and often end up paying more to fix the issue.

The claim comes from the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), who explained
Inspections are essential to check for both normal maintenance issues and to ensure that the tenant is treating the property properly.

The AIIC suggests landlords should check a property every three months.

“A recent case shows how important it is for landlords to make regular checks on their property. A check-out was in progress and it was discovered that there had been a water leak from the bathroom above a kitchen which had caused the ceiling to fall down,” said an AIIC spokesman.

“The tenant said that the leak had got worse, but hadn’t bothered to report it and a couple of days ago the ceiling had come down. The tenant thought that as they were moving out, this would just be reported at time of check-out. As a result of the tenant’s negligence, they had to pay for a percentage of the ceiling repair.

“Time and time again we see maintenance issues and property damage at check-out because of poor communication between the tenant and landlord. Often the tenant won’t report a problem until it becomes serious and without regular visits from landlords, potential big problems are not sorted.”

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