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Maintenance, motivation and millions…

The news that Buckingham Palace is set to be refurbished to the tune of £390 million pound has certainly had people talking. The news that the Queen and rest of the Royal Family will remain at their luxury residence while the work is taking place shows how well the project will be planned to minimise disruption.

At times, landlords and tenants ask us how often maintenance should take place and whose responsibility it is to pay for the work. An interesting question and one that there is not necessarily a straightforward answer to. 

Many landlords choose to carry our refurbishments when trying to find new tenants or during change-over periods, but what about when long-term tenants occupy your property? Recent changes from the Government mean that the pressure is on for landlords and if a property is already attracting rent, it can be hard to find the motivation or the cash to spruce the place up, particularly if it is not essential repairs. 

However, just like with the palace, maintaining a property gradually can save time and money as the place will inevitably and gradually become dated, scuffed and damaged. There are some tax benefits as maintenance costs are classified as expenditure, unless they are capital improvements so it is always worth checking the HMRC guidelines as this can be a complex area.

Although it does not necessarily need to be fit for the Queen, most importantly small touches can help to keep your tenants happy and provide a clear renewal incentive, making them much more likely to stay. It will also keep the rental value good when you re-let if they should decide to leave.

Like most issues in property management, it does of course depend on the individual situation and circumstances. However, adding a provision on your budget for maintenance, even when long-term tenants are in place, can provide a clear advantage in the long-run.

To discuss your property with a lettings expert contact us today.

Posted by
Ian Murray
on 7th December 2016