Landlords need to ask themselves if their property is at risk of falling into a state of disrepair, following the release of research showing more and more Britons are ignoring serious maintenance issues. A study by Halifax Home Insurance revealed more than one in ten properties could easily be on the verge of disaster. Eleven per cent of UK homes are in need of major improvements, while half require minor work.
These findings come in spite of the fact more than a quarter of homeowners claim to be maintenance enthusiasts. Yet 31 per cent claim they only have the skills to complete basic cosmetic improvements, such as painting and grouting. According to Halifax, this lack of confidence could lead to preventable problems like damp in the long term.
TV DIY expert, Ben Hillman, commented: "By making a number of small maintenance checks throughout the year, homeowners can save both time and money, and ensure their home is well maintained. For example, it can cost GBP 40 to have gutters cleaned, whereas replacing damaged gutters can cost over GBP 550, and even more in terms of hassle."
When it comes to property investment, prospective buyers will be interested to know the homes in the greatest state of disrepair are in Hartlepool. Wrekin in Shropshire has the second largest number of "wrecks", while homeowners in Aberdeen, Peterborough and Newport and the most house-proud. Yet aesthetic DIY is still being carried out, with 86 per cent undertaking painting or decorating and 77 per cent assembling new furniture. However, just 55 per cent clean out gutters, while 63 per cent are competent enough to fill cracks.
So why are Britons neglecting maintenance? According to the research, the main excuse is being too busy, with 41 per cent claiming they just don't have the time. Not having the right tools was a problem for 36 per cent, while fear of causing injury to themselves or others plagued 29 per cent. Yet over the past five years, homeowners have spent an average of GBP 5,841 on home improvements to their properties.