This week I have noted a few tips I use to deal with ongoing property maintenance on properties, something I have learnt over a period of time.
I get updates from the letting agents regarding big repairs that need doing and some of the quotes I get for the work I could do a whole property renovation for!
..A good example would be boilers which most of the plumbers love charging £2k a go for.
1. It’s worth always getting a second plumber in when the call/email comes in.
2. Instruct your letting agent/refurb manager NOT TO TELL THE SECOND PLUMBER WHAT THE FIRST ONE SAID. The results will be quite amusing because at least 50% of the time they will come back with a different answer. If the boiler has stopped working lots of plumbers like to say that the parts have been “discontinued”, mysteriously when the second plumber comes in they often fix the problem or find parts
There are a couple of plumbers locally who have replaced boilers for me for £1k!– this is especially possible where they can take a boiler out and replace without doing a load of pipe work.
3. Be aware that plumbers love putting Worcester Bosch units in that cost £2k fitted, why bother when a glow-worm is half the cost?!
4. Also resist putting new boilers in right till you have nowhere else to go as you may as well have a £100 bill on average every year in repairs for an old boiler rather than pay £2k now (equivalent of 20 years repairs!) with all the implications of inflation and the money coming from your pocket rather that the property growth.
5. Older boilers usually last longer too and I am yet to be convinced that our newer properties have smaller call out/boiler bills that our older properties with 20 year old boilers.
6. I’m careful to get at least 2 quotes on almost all significant work that needs to be done at a property as this is the best way to save money.
Quotes/costs/solutions/ideas vary widely between contractors.
7. Electrical safety checks are not always mandatory, you should take care as to which electrician does them for you as many electricians will almost without fail find various things wrong and create work before they will pass it.
The favourite is re wring the property which can be upwards of £2k-£3k often a heinous waste of cash.
8. It’s good to make a noise about maintenance bills as a matter of course every now and again for 2 reasons, it creates some pain with the letting agents/contractors so they won’t want to submit big ones again and get time taken up dealing with it and it shows you are looking (even if you aren’t all of the time). These are just a few tips to help you become an educated property investor!