Honourable and personal residential letting experts


5 top tips for landlords in November 

The British weather has been rather odd of late, but you can guarantee by November colder and wetter weather has set in. As your agent we know, November means one thing, higher repair requests from your residents for maintenance.

Analysis of our work sheet requests (excluding regular certification requirements) have shown a very regular pattern over the last three years as you can see from the graph below the requests start increasing from September through to November and from or data it has followed the same pattern for the last two years.

We all know how difficult it is to get a trusted contractor at short notice. This is where our data gets useful. We have an idea when things will happen and what will need doing. QED, we have a rough idea what cover we shall need and when we shall need it.

Breakdown of resident requests in throughout the year as a percentage of the total number (2021 – 2023)

Data: Maxine Lester Lettings and Property Management 


Data: Maxine Lester Lettings and Property Management 

So where are the tips?

1. Make sure you have a war chest

We always advise that you keep at 10% of your rental income saved away in case of urgent needs. A new boiler will cost anything between £1,800 and £2,300 dependant on the system you have. They usually break down at the most inconvenient time! The average lifespan of a washing machine (according to Which?) is 10 to 15 years. A boiler is 10 years so dependent on the age certain items could be worth repairing.

2. Plan ahead

We encourage residents to test out the heating as early as September in order to avoid finding out things are not as they should be on the first cold snap. Which means they may have to wait for service.

3. Keep on top of maintenance

Ever heard the phase ‘a stitch in time’. It really does count when looking after a property. When we visit a property for either a spot check or more detailed maintenance report, we will be able to point out issues that we see or in most cases have been reported by your residents (they are there 24/7!) Little jobs are guaranteed to become big jobs if left.

4. Garden maintenance

See my blog on avoiding disputes at the end of a tenancy.

Your resident is absolutely responsible for the upkeep of the garden. However, if the garden you hand over is filled with lush shrubs there is a very grey area with regard to who should cut back large shrubs. Recently the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) reports on the result of garden adjudications have usually taken the residents side i.e. they can’t be held responsible for cutting back a leylandii hedge. It looks like the decision is around the tools required so where ladders or more than secateurs are needed. The responsibility lies with the landlord. Therefore, as you visit your property throughout the year or receive reports, plan to cut back large shrubs in the autumn.

5. Make sure that you have trusted contractors

That you can use at short notice or you have the skills and time to deal with multiple issues. Easier said than done, I know but as a landlord you have responsibilities under section 11 of the 1988 Housing Act. If you don’t have the skills or time you need to make sure that you are part of a group that can help. If you are using your own contractors the first thing you need to do is be sure that they are qualified to do the job (particularly electrical and plumbing work) but just as important they are insured to carry out the work you have instructed them to do. If anything goes wrong and they do not have the appropriate cover you will be responsible.

It’s all about organisation and planning

With a lot of back up from people that can make things happen.

If you would like to find out how you could become part of our contractor’s hub just book a free 30 minute consultation call with me.