Landlords Warned Renovating isn’t always the Cheap Option

10 March 2012 Categories: News

RICS, the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors, has warned landlords that buying cheap, often older, properties that require renovation isn’t always the best way to save money in the long run. The recent shortage of properties for sale with asking prices of less than £120,000 has forced a rising number of landlords to look at the alternatives, including repossession properties that require significant work to restore them to a rentable standard.

Sadly, because of the cost, most landlords who choose this purchasing path fail to have a full building survey done, and consequently they find themselves with huge repair bills for faults they knew nothing about.

According to RICS the most common problems encountered in older properties (and that are rarely visible to the untrained eye) include subsidence, damp walls and floors, rotting timbers and damaged or missing roof tiles. The Building Cost Information Service estimates that subsidence costs an average of £24,000 to fix while damp ground floors, which are a common problem in older properties, can cost up to £12,000 to repair.

When these costs are compared to the cost of a full Building survey (start at £700) it is no wonder that RICS director of residential, David Dalby is urging landlords to consider before buying; “The cost of a survey is a small price to pay for peace of mind and will prevent landlords from being hit with unforeseen costs. Surveys can even be used to negotiate the sale price if any significant faults are discovered”.

1 Response to “Landlords Warned Renovating isn’t always the Cheap Option”

  1. Jason Hegarty 12 March 2012 at 10:56 am (PERMALINK)

    Yes I find this happening a lot lately particularly to first time landlords who are keen to keep their project costs down to a minimum. The last tip is what I say to clients all the time. Invest in a decent survey and if it highlights something you were not aware of you can go back to the vendor with your report and use this to renegotiate the purchase price.