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Landlords spend an average of £200 to £1000 every year on general repairs and while these costs are tax-deductable you can save quite a lot of money by doing the simpler jobs yourself. Here are 8 tasks we think are easily doable (especially with a Youtube tutorial!).

Change a front door lock

Some landlords always change locks between tenancies for security purposes, some only do so if a tenant asks for them to be changed, but either way this is a job you can easily do yourself. I’m useless with a screwdriver but I did manage to swap both a night latch and a mortice lock with a few instructions from my local locksmith!

How:

This tutorial will show you how to change the barrel of a night latch and this one will guide you through changing a mortice lock. To change a lock or euro cylinder on a uPVC door, try this video.

Saving:

About £100.

Replace a tap washer

Dripping taps are more than just a nuisance, they can also lead to burst pipes so it’s something you shouldn’t ignore, especially at this time of year. Most can be resolved simply by replacing the rubber washer or ceramic cartridge, for which the only tools you need are a screwdriver and a pair of pliers.

How:

Here’s how to replace a rubber washer and here’s how to change a ceramic disc.

Saving:

About £65.

 

Bleed a radiator

If a radiator isn’t heating up properly, it might have an airlock inside, which means you’ll need to let the air out. It’s so easy it would be daft to pay a plumber.

How:

Just follow this tutorial.

Saving:

£65.

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Paint a wall:

A rental property will need redecorating at least once every five years, but occasionally you might need to paint only one room or even just one wall, which is a job you might want to tackle yourself.

How:

To make sure you get a good finish, follow the steps here.

Saving:

£150 to £400.

Repair non-flushing toilet:

There can be a number of reasons why a toilet isn’t flushing but it shouldn’t be hard to identify the problem once you’ve removed the cistern lid and sorting it out might only take a few minutes.

How:

There are lots of Youtube tutorials you can follow, depending on what’s causing the problem. Try this one to begin with.

Unblock a sink:

If the sink is blocked the tenant has probably poured something down it that they shouldn’t have, such as cooking oil,  so you could wash your hands of the problem, so to speak, and tell them to sort it out, but the chances are they’ll chuck some hideous chemicals down the plughole that might melt the pipes. Instead, you could try some simple steps to clear it yourself.

How:

First, I’d try the traditional way with an old-fashioned plunger and if that doesn’t work I’d take off the u-bend under the sink to see if it’s blocked. This tutorial will show you how. I’d only use chemical cleaners if the blockage is beyond the internal pipework. By the way, if this is the case, it might also be preventing a washing machine or dishwasher from draining.

Saving:

£65 - £100.

Re-sealing a shower tray:

It’s almost inevitable that you’ll have to replace the white or clear silicone strip round the edges of any showers at the end of each tenancy, I’ve yet to come across a tenant who’s managed to prevent them from going mouldy.

It isn’t hard to do but it does take a while, so if you’re short of time this is a job you might prefer to leave to a handyman.

How:

If you do have the time to do it yourself, there are some tips for making it easier in this upbeat video.

Fit draught excluder:

If your property has draughty doors and windows, installing draught excluders will make a big difference to your tenant’s comfort and also reduce the energy bills.

How:

Products usually come with instructions, but you could use this video for ideas on what to buy and how to apply window and door seals.

Saving:

Depends on the amount of work but will be in the region of £25 to £40 per door or window.

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By The Upad Landlord
06 Nov 2015

Categories: Property Management

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