Tips for the new student landlord: Repairs and Appliances - Part 1 of 2

Rennovated kitchenThe issues that many landlords face are often very similar, no matter how experienced or new to the industry they may be - this rings particularly true when the landlord is involved with student letting.

If you’re a student landlord or thinking about venturing into student lets, there’s a strong possibility your student tenants are, or will be, living away from home for the very first time.

To help you out, we’ve put together a few helpful tips over two articles that outlines your responsibilities as a student landlord and can hopefully go a long way towards ensuring you’re well equipped to deal with potential student tenant demands in the best way possible.

Property repairs

The old stereotype of students having a reputation for hosting house parties, generally having little care for the cleanliness or safety of their accommodation and not being clued up on things is very much a thing of the past.

For a start, students have now become far more money savvy given the rising cost of student loans, so ensuring that their deposit is returned to them in full at the end of the rental term is likely to be a key priority for many student tenants.

No matter who your tenants may be, wear and tear is part and parcel of letting out accommodation, especially for multi-occupancy properties where you may have many rooms let out to several tenants. Any maintenance issues relating to the structure or exterior of the property is the responsibility of the landlord. Things such as flooring, walls, toilets, sinks, baths etc. must also be resolved by the landlord if they succumb to problems.

However, any items that are brought into the property by the tenant becomes their responsibility to maintain. The landlord has no responsibility to pay for repairs on items such as a television if it was provided by the tenant.

This is why it is so important to create an accurate inventory that includes photographs of the property and contents before the student tenancy begins. This will allow the landlord to differentiate between repairs that have naturally developed and issues that are caused by the tenant(s).

Upkeep of utilities

The landlord is responsible for making sure that all gas and electrical appliances are in safe working condition in the property, and a gas safety check is required annually. The landlord also has a duty to install smoke alarms on every floor inside the property, along with carbon monoxide alarms in every room where a fuel burning appliance is located.

The landlord must also ensure the boiler is in good working condition and is regularly serviced to maintain the constant and safe supply of hot water into the property. If the boiler breaks or if any leaks occur in the water supply, it is the responsibility of the landlord to get this rectified as soon as possible. If the boiler is switched off for an extended period during a cold spell there is a risk that the pipes could freeze, which could lead to central heating issues. For this reason, it’s worthwhile asking your tenants how long they will be vacating the property for during the Christmas period - especially student tenants, as they tend to return home for the Christmas and new year break.

If a tenant provides an appliance and it breaks, or if light bulbs need to be replaced, then this is the responsibility of the tenant. These terms should be clarified in the lease agreement before the tenancy begins to avoid any disputes or disagreements during the tenancy term.

From finding the perfect investment opportunity and sourcing ideal tenants, to offering a wide range of property management services, the team at CPS Homes have the expertise to help you every step of the way with your venture into student lets. Contact us to learn more by calling 02920 668585, e-mailing or by popping into one of our three Cardiff branches.

12 February 2020


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