22 June 2015

To DIY or not to DIY? A Guide for Landlords

There are certain things a landlord can fix and others they absolutely shouldn’t attempt. If you own a property, it’s important to understand the difference. To help you out, we’ve put together this landlord’s DIY guide covering what can and can’t be fixed.

Blocked drains – YES

Blocked pipes in the bathroom and kitchen can wreak havoc, however fixing the problem is often surprisingly easy. If it’s simply a matter of water bubbling up every now and then or taking longer than usual to drain, pouring a store-bought drain unblocking solution into the pipes is a cheap, easy and very effective way of fixing the problem.


Gas leaks – NO

The second you or your tenants smell gas it’s time to call in the professionals. Never try to fix a leak by yourself as it could easily worsen the problem and put both you and your tenants in danger.


Electrical work – NO

Unless you’re a qualified electrician never attempt to carry out electrical repairs. You put yourself at risk of electrocution, and also jeopardise the safety of your tenants if you do a botch job.


Painting – YES

Professional painters may get the job done faster but it’s far cheaper to do it yourself! A fresh lick of paint on interior or exterior walls is a great way to brighten up a property, add resale value and keep your tenants happy.


Gardening – YES

Sprucing up the garden can be labour intensive but there is definitely no need to fork out for a professional landscaper. A weekend here and there should be all it takes to get your rental property garden looking great!


Laying floors and carpeting – YES

It requires research and attention to detail however laying floors and carpeting is 100% doable. Just remember that it can often take longer than a day so you’ll need to arrange alternative accommodation for your tenants or carry out the work when the property is empty.


Tree removal – NO

While small shrubs, bushes and trees can be tackled by DIY landlords, larger plants should be taken on with caution. Pruning often involves climbing to dangerous heights, not to mention the risk of felled branches getting tangled in power lines, falling on passers-by or damaging a neighbour’s property.

Whatever the task, it’s important for landlords to always protect themselves, their property and their tenants with adequate insurance.  This way, if a major issue does arise landlords can simply call in a professional, then make an insurance claim.