Buy-to-let landlords should set aside more than £2,000 a year to cover essential maintenance

Landlords may be tempted to believe that once they have bought a property and installed tenants, that their immediate costs have come to end. However, new research suggests that they may be in for quite a shock.

Figures published by insurer LV= suggests that landlords typically fork out more than £2,000 a year each on essential maintenance costs.

This amounts to more than £4.1 billion for landlords across the whole of the country.

Many buy-to-let landlords rely on their tenants to tell them about maintenance issues

One of the problems is delays by tenants informing landlords about maintenance issues, resulting in more costly repairs - something that has affected one in four landlords, according to the research.

At the same time, two in five landlords say they rely on their tenants to tell them about maintenance issues in their property, and a quarter do this without the help of a property management company to keep on top of problems.

However, LV= suggests that landlords need to be aware of the potential risk in waiting for tenants to inform them of problems and not checking themselves.

The research found that many renters admit to putting off fixing issues or not telling their landlord about them, with younger tenants - aged between 18 and 34 - being the most likely to do this.

Why do landlords’ and tenants’ attitudes differ on maintenance issues?

LV= suggests that a significant factor in the lack of communication between landlords and their tenants about maintenance may be attitudes towards the subject, with 37 per cent of tenants believing maintenance work can wait unless it’s an emergency.

This can be costly for landlords, as ignoring issues can lead to more serious and more expensive problems developing.

Selwyn Fernandes, managing director of home and landlord insurance at LV=, said: “Keeping up with home maintenance can be a tough and time-consuming job at the best of times, but it can be especially tricky for landlords and their tenants as there may be confusion about where the responsibility lies.

“Generally landlords handle structural repairs and any issues with water, heating or electrical systems, but renters may be expected to do minor repairs, so should check their contract if they aren’t sure.”

How much do you spend on maintaining your rental property? Tell us in the comments.

Get set with tailored landlord cover

Over 100,000 UK landlord policies, a 9/10 customer rating and claims handled by an award-winning team. Looking to switch or start a new policy? Run a quick landlord insurance quote today.

Start your quote