25% of properties for sale in the UK
have serious maintenance issues
New research by Halifax home insurance has revealed that home owners are far from proficient at keeping their property well maintained.
The research found that whilst 28% of home owners claim to be DIY enthusiasts, almost a third of people surveyed said they only had basic skills and knowledge to carry out basic cosmetic improvements, such as painting and decorating, grouting tiles or assembling furniture rather than tackling bigger property maintenance issues such as cleaning gutters and repairing fixtures and fittings or repairing cracks in plaster.
lacking the confidence to undertake even straightforward maintenance which could prevent problems such as damp in the longer term,
The research found that property owners in Aberdeen had the best maintained properties in Scotland, while Peterborough was the top region in England, and Newport came out top in Wales.
Hartlepool was the worst on the list of towns and cities with poorly maintained property, followed by Wrekin in Shropshire with a high proportion of properties in disrepair.
The research also examined property owners’ attitudes towards DIY:
- 70% of property owners preferred to only tackle simple maintenance tasks
- 23% admitted they ask for property maintenance help from family members
- 23% admit to having ignored a serious home maintenance task in the past.
The main reasons for neglecting property maintenance work included:
- Too busy – 41%
- Did not have the right tools – 36%
- Frightened of causing injury to themselves or others – 29%
Property owners have spent a national average of £5,841 (GBP) on home improvements in the past five years. More than 10% have spent over £10,000 (GBP), and 20% have spent over £20,000 on property maintenance and repairs.
Martyn Foulds, senior claims manager at Halifax Home Insurance commented on the findings, saying “We all invest a considerable amount of time and money in property, so it’s worth making sure any investment is adequately protected, yet more than a quarter of people are unaware of what is and isn’t covered by landlord or buildings insurance policies. By failing to properly maintain property, owners risk invalidating their insurance policy, potentially running up hefty bills if something goes wrong as a result of neglect”.
Making a number of routine maintenance checks throughout the year can save landlords and property owners a great deal of time and money and ensures that properties are well maintained.
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