Some of the things that start to show their age quickly in a property are fixtures and fittings. While some fixtures and fittings may need to be updated due to damage or a fault in the item, knowing when to update things in your home is important. This keeps your home in excellent condition before you need to make major updates. Another major benefit of keeping your fixtures and fittings updated? A home in great condition is more likely to attract great tenants. Here’s our guide to when different fixtures and fittings should be updated in your properties.
Firstly, if you’re unsure about all of the fixtures and fittings in your property, take a look at the entry condition report for your property or the sales contract. These documents may include notes on items you may have forgotten about. Some examples of common fixtures and fittings include electric sockets, security systems, smoke alarm systems, kitchen appliances, laundry appliances, built-in wardrobes, heating and cooling systems, carpet, mirrors, and furniture (if applicable).
Make sure your property manager checks the condition of fixtures and fittings
When your property manager completes an entry condition report, exit condition report and routine inspections, make sure they check all fixtures and fittings and report their condition. This is the best way to understand if anything at your property needs replacing.
If you’ve included appliances like fridges, a washing machine, dryer and dishwasher in your property, make sure you know when the warranty ends. The life span for household appliances can vary greatly depending on the brand of appliances in your property and how often they are used.
Generally speaking, most appliances will reach the end of their life span anywhere between 5 years and 15 years. For items such as electric and gas cooktops, expect to get up to 10 years of use. For other appliances like washing machines and fridges, you’re likely to get 5 to 10 years of use out of the appliance before having to carry out maintenance.
For any older appliances that need major repairs, make sure you weigh up the cost of repairing the appliance against purchasing a replacement. The older an appliance is, the more expensive it is to repair. In these cases, it may be best to organise a replacement. You could also talk to your accountant and make sure you time your purchases smartly within the financial year.
The condition of carpets and light fittings in your property will largely depend on how old the property is and how well it has been looked after. If the carpet is beginning to look worn or showing other signs it needs to be replaced, investigate the cost of replacing the carpet against having it professionally cleaned (though cleaning should be completed at the end of each tenancy). Expect to get up to 10 years out of your carpet depending on the quality of the carpet and how much foot traffic goes through the property.
For light fittings and fans
Light fittings and fans can last many years in a property, well over 10 years – you will just need to change the light globe occasionally. If the globe is continually going out it is usually a sign there is a fault with the actual fitting and will need to be replaced.
If possible, keep light fittings simple and easy for your tenants to reach for changing light globes. A popular choice for landlords is LED lights which are also cost effective to run.
There are many designs for fans, wall controlled fans are usually cheaper than remote controlled fans. Depending when the fan is installed remote fans may be your only option to install.
If your property has an air conditioning system, make sure you understand how often it needs to be serviced. Most systems need to be serviced once per year. Paying this annual cost for a service could also save you more money down the track as the contractor may be able to pick up issues before they arise.
Owning an investment property comes with many tasks that need to be remembered. By keeping in regular contact with your property manager and tenants (if applicable), you’ll be able to remain proactive about keeping your property in great condition.