Buy-to-let Landlord Insurance - Is DIY maintenance a false economy?

Buy-to-let Landlord Insurance - Is DIY maintenance a false economy?

Find out why calling in the professionals CAN save you money and give you additional protection under your buy-to-let Landlord Insurance policy.

Most Landlords buy a let property as an investment vehicle, which makes it all the more frustrating when maintenance and repair charges eat into your valuable profit, or worse still, take you into the red!

As such, it’s tempting to take on minor maintenance and repairs yourself to keep costs down, but in reality, this can often prove to be a dangerous path, not just for your wallet, but also in terms of the impact on your Landlord Insurance policy.

Think about maintenance BEFORE you buy your let property

Older properties and conversions may look great on your viewing, but don’t forget they’re also likely to be more expensive to maintain or require non-standard fittings.

You may receive slightly more rental income, but this could be more than off-set in annual maintenance.

Find the right tenants

A tricky one at the best of times, but I’m sure we’ve all experienced that “unlucky” tenant where appliances keeping breaking down, showers leak and the wall is full of pictures which later look like they’ve been out up by pneumatic drill!

Getting the right professional tenant and thoroughly checking references can radically reduce your maintenance costs.


Fixtures & Fittings

Another easy trap is to grab that end of line kitchen or bathroom – it’s saving hundreds of pounds after all….until you need to replace that broken door or hand-basin that is!

Try to stick to good quality stock kitchens and bathrooms whenever possible.  These tend to be bulk items and prices and good value, but the real gain is the accessibility when need to replace doors, handles etc.

Regular Inspections

Making and keeping regular inspection appointments will not only give you peace of mind but also ensure that you’re fully aware of any maintenance issues before they escalate into a much more expensive repair.

You may also find that it is a condition of your Landlord Insurance policy that your property is inspected, particularly if it is unoccupied.

Keep a regular maintenance budget

Common sense you may think, but for many new Landlords, it’s easy to forget to include maintenance when putting together your initial budget and reviewing costs.

A solid plan should consist of a monthly maintenance allowance, as well as other incurred expenses such as Landlords Insurance.

DIY Maintenance and Landlord Insurance

Your Landlord Insurance policy will typically exclude damage caused by you or your employees.

For example, if you drill through a water pipe while refitting a skirting board, you would need to bear the burden of fixing the pipe yourself.

If you use a professional tradesman, their Public Liability Insurance protects you against injury or damage to your property.

Security and Landlords Insurance

It can be a condition of a buy-to-let policy that specific door locks, window locks or alarm systems need to be fitted and activated at your let property.

Make sure you understand precisely what is required and are happy you can comply before you purchase your Landlord's cover.

Don’t buy the cheapest possible fittings, these need to be robust and easy to use, or your tenants will simply forget to use them.


Build up a team of reliable tradesman

Build up a reliable team of tradesman that you can call on if and when required without incurring a large call-out charge.

Ask other Landlords in your area for recommendations and check out prior work and testimonials.  Also, make sure that every tradesman carries Public Liability Insurance and make a note of the details should you need them in the future.

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