Posted on: 18 March 2019

When is the best time to renovate your property

If you have decided to make some refurbishments to your property while it is let, it can be difficult to do so without causing disruption to your tenants. Because of this, we have put together some top tips for you to consider before making developments to your property to help minimise tenant disruption.

Our top tips

Consider how large the job is

Minor jobs, such as painting could only take a day, which could be completed whilst your tenant is at work. Make sure that your tenants have plenty of notice and know to remove any important items from the room so that they can be preserved, but also give warning that your decorators may move their furniture.

Larger jobs may require more organisation and communication to make sure that work can be done on the house whilst your tenants aren’t present in the house for extended periods of time.

Use school holidays

If you are planning on renovating a property where your tenants have children, the likelihood is that they will be restricted to going away during school holidays. If you are planning on making changes to the property, let your tenants know, and ask them to tell you when the property will be vacant. Letting them know in advance will also give them time to move things around in the property to give your developers easy access.

If your residential tenants aren’t restricted to school holidays, make sure to keep regular contact so that if they are away on holiday, you can use that as an opportunity to make your renovations. If time constraints means that you have to make changes whilst your tenants are at home, make sure that your workers won’t disturb any tenants that might work night shifts.

Christmas is also a good time to make changes to your residential property because people will often leave the house to visit family. Depending on the nature of your commercial property, small scale commercial renovations could also take place around the Christmas period, if your tenants are not using the property at that time.

Safety matters

Whether you are renovating a commercial or residential property, be aware that your tenants may still be using the premises on a regular, sometimes daily, basis. Tenant safety should be a top priority, so make sure that your tradesmen have relevant certification or qualifications before you allow them onto your premises.

If you are completing commercial property renovations, you must remain compliant with the Construction Regulations that cover Design and Management, introduced in 2015. For domestic work, you as a landlord don’t have to carry out any of the client duties, but you should make sure that you are up to date on the regulations to ensure that your workmen are compliant.

Communicate with your tenants

Make sure that your tenants know exactly what the plans are and when they can expect the project to be completed. If you can provide them with a project plan on paper, this will allow them to keep track of the project themselves and plan accordingly.

Have a meeting with as many of the tenants as possible to discuss the best times for the work to take place. Make sure that you also give as much notice as possible that renovations will take place, and keep in touch for any feedback that your tenants will have about the work.

Give 24 hours’ notice before visiting your residential tenants, but make sure that you regularly stop by during the project to check how your tenants are coping with the work being completed.

Make sure the basics are still accessible

Make sure that your tenants are still able to wash, make food or have a drink to make sure that they are still able to carry out the most basic of functions; even small things like still having a space to park their car can make the biggest difference to your tenants’ daily lives.

Property insurance

If you are thinking about carrying out work to your property, make sure that your property insurance covers you, your tenants and your workmen. It is also worth making sure that you check the insurance documentation of the people coming to work on your house. Making sure that they have public liability insurance can cover you in the event that they cause any damage whilst on your property.

You will have different insurance needs depending on the type of property that you rent out. Find your perfect insurance package by speaking to one of our trained insurance experts, who will be able to give you advice on the insurance covers to suit your portfolio.

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The information and tools contained in this guide are of a general informational nature and should not be relied upon as being suitable for any specific set of circumstances. We have used reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents but the information and tools do not constitute professional advice and must not be relied upon as such. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information or tools in our Knowledge Centre.