There was an interesting/good question asked in the forum yesterday,
what kind of maintenance costs landlords have had to pay over the years?
Fortunately, over the last 5 years of maintaining 3-4 properties, I haven’t had to dig too deep to cover maintenance costs (from what I can remember). And in most cases, where I have paid out, I’ve managed to learn ways to reduce the risks, meaning I avoid (or at least try to) paying out for the same costs.
I had long term tenants for 4 years, and after they left, the entire property (2 bedroom house) needed a compelte repaint. I wasn’t hacked off because after 4 years, what was I to expect? I painted the entire house myself, so labour costs were avoided. The paint and tools cost me about £80.
2] Replacing front door
My ex-savage tenant managed to smash the front door in half. This was when I first realised how extortionate and expensive front doors are (who fucking knew?). You can read more about that awful experience here: I’ve Fallen Out With My Ex-Tenant Over Her Security Deposit
Unfortunately, I didn’t have an Inventory Form in place, otherwise I would have been able to shake the pennies out of my tenant to cover the costs. But I managed to squeeze about a £100 out of her. I ended up paying £150 out of my own pocket. Ouch.
3] Replacing garden fence
Stupid Mother Nature knocked down part of the garden fence in the back garden. It cost £50 to replace. I now know how it feels to be a victim of an earthquake/volcano eruption. It feels HORRIBLE, for those wondering.
4] Replacing carpet
When my long-term tenant left, it became apparent that she and her children had a fetish for shitting and pissing on carpets. There were odd looking stains scattered around everywhere.
Rather than putting my new tenants through the discomfort of stepping onto questionable stains, I had the bedrooms refitted with new carpet. That cost about £120.
5] Plumbing & Heating
This has probably been my biggest expenditure over the years. It turns out that one of my properties was fitted with a shitty boiler. Consequently, to date, it’s cost me £600 to maintain. At first the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) needed replacing, and then a valve needed replacing. I have no idea what any of those things do, I just know I paid out of my arse for them, and it hurt. A lot.
6] Electrical Fault
I can’t remember what, why or when, but at one point the electrics failed in one of my properties. Something or another needed replacing, and it cost me £120.
7] Gas Safety Certificate
A Gas Safety Certificate is required to be renewed annually by law, so it’s not something I can avoid, but it is part of maintaining a BTL. It costs me about £45 per property per year. I’d say I’ve spent about £500 in total.
8] Other stuff
Other small issues over the years have involved poly filling holes in walls, refitting kitchen units, replacing doorknobs, Mr Muscle sink unblocker (NO JOKE), and replacing a doorbell. I estimate I spent about £70 over 4-5 years on “other stuff”
Total costs: £1,640. Over the period of 4-5 years, I don’t think that’s bad at all. I’ve definitely been a lucky sausage.
I may have missed a few maintenance costs out, but that’s all I can remember for now. Landlords generally remember the big financial hits, because they weep over that shit for years- I’m no different. So I’m pretty confident I covered the main costs.
This is probably a good reminder to all new and prospective-landlords that maintenance costs do exist, and they are very much part of the costs of being a landlord. Alas, it’s not all about a one way money train (common misconception). As mentioned, I’ve been pretty fortunate so far, but I’ve seen other landlords pay out thousands on a yearly basis, which cuts deep into profits.
How much have you paid out?
How much do you pay out yearly or have you paid out in total for maintenance costs? Also, what’s been, or consistently is, your biggest expenditure when maintaining? I’d love to hear your stats, people!
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.