Thursday 28 April 2022

How much are Chichester’s landlords spending on property maintenance?

As another tax year recently came to a close, annual account statements were sent out to all of my landlords who use my fully managed service. It’s something I include (free of charge) as part of my lettings service, but I think it will make my landlords (or their accountants!) lives easier come self-assessment time.

The statement breaks down the total rent they have received in the tax year for each property, along with any deductions that were made e.g. CRJ Lettings’ management fees and any maintenance costs. It’s similar to what they receive each month when the rent comes in, but this time for the whole tax year.

Not only is this a nice overview for the landlord, whilst again demonstrating my complete transparency in regards to fees, but it also ensures all costs are accounted for so that they can claim the maximum tax relief. This is increasingly important when the deduction of mortgage interest has been taken away, having been replaced by a (often lesser) ‘tax credit’.

It also gives me some great figures to analyse, which I wanted to share with you.

The average rent my landlords are achieving is £1,090pcm, which is on par with the current average rent in Chichester of £1,100pcm. Just as importantly, they have received all of the rent due to them. This time last year, I questioned whether I’d be able to make that statement again, as the government’s financial support relating to the fallout from Covid-19 softened. 

What’s more is that my unique fixed-fee structure is proving to be excellent value for my landlords; demonstrated by an average charge of just 8.9% for an award-winning full management service. One landlord is paying just 5.7% as their property achieves a particularly high rent, meaning my fixed fee proves to be even better value for them.

What is also interesting to see is that my landlords are spending an average of just £460 a year on property maintenance, which is only 3.5% of the total rent they receive. Common lettings advice is to set aside 10% of your annual rent to account for property maintenance, so it seems my landlords are doing far better than this. 

I suspect this is partly because I tend to manage more modern properties, which should inherently have fewer issues, but also because I tend to endorse the attitude of ‘prevention being better than cure’ i.e. spending a little in the short-term to save a lot in the long-term.

I hope it’s also partly down to the carefully selected maintenance contractors I use, who offer good value for money, plus the fact I don’t add a mark-up to maintenance costs or charge additional commission on such works. I’ll also typically run through a few simple steps with tenants when issues do occur, in case we can resolve them without the need for paid help.

Landlords; let me know how much you’re spending on maintenance and where you’re spending it (fencing companies made up a good chunk of our maintenance spend due to the storms earlier this year!). And if you’d like to discuss the ins and outs of how I can make the management of your rental property a little bit easier and perhaps more cost-effective, please get in touch.

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