What Exactly Is Property Preservation? Protecting Your Property

Whether due to a landlord, tenant, neighbour, or structural damage, almost everyone has experienced property issues. It's critical to learn about these roadblocks so you know what to do if you run into one.

That's why we've gathered the most prevalent challenges associated with properties in this blog to help you prepare!

property preservation uk guide

Have you ever walked into a building and thought, “This place could use some tender loving care”? If so, then you understand the importance of property preservation.

Property preservation is maintaining a building in good condition through repairing damage, cleaning, and making necessary improvements. But what does it actually entail, and who needs it most?

We’ll take a closer look at these services, discuss their importance, and explore some of the available examples to help you protect your property.

Why Is Property Preservation Needed?

Property preservation is essential for many reasons. Consider the following purposes:

  1. Protect the property's value: A well-maintained property is worth more than a neglected one because it’s in better condition and will appeal more to buyers and tenants.
  2. Improve the safety of the property: A clean and well-maintained property is safer for tenants, visitors, and property owners since it’s free of hazards like broken windows or loose stairs.
  3. Prevent costly repairs: Maintaining a property prevents minor problems from becoming major repairs, saving owners a lot of money in the long run.
  4. Comply with laws and regulations: In some jurisdictions, property owners may be required to maintain their buildings in accordance with certain laws and regulations.
  5. Improve the property's appearance: A well-maintained property will look better than a neglected one, creating a positive impression on potential buyers, tenants, and visitors.

Who Needs Property Preservation?

The following people need property preservation:

  • Property owners
  • Tenants
  • Investors
  • Mortgagees

Property preservation protects the value of buildings, improves safety, prevents costly repairs, and ensures that collateral is in good condition. Owners can maintain their property’s value, while tenants get to live in a comfortable and safe space.

Investors also protect their investments to generate income, and mortgagees ensure their collateral is in good condition so they can collect on their loans. 

Who Is Responsible for Property Preservation?

Property preservation is the process of maintaining a building in good condition. The responsibility lies with the owner or manager. But, it may also be shared with tenants, contractors, or other specified parties.

What Exactly Do Property Preservation Services Entail?

Property preservation, also known as maintenance and upkeep, entails keeping a property in good condition to prevent it from deteriorating or losing value. These services may be provided by property managers, contractors, or restoration companies.

Here’s a list of the different types of property preservation services available:

  • Security procedures
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Removal of debris and cleaning
  • Pest management
  • Waterproofing and damp proofing
  • Preparing the property for winter
  • Property inspections and surveys
  • Garden and lawn upkeep
  • Reporting and documentation

Security Procedures

These are the measures taken to protect a property from unauthorised access, vandalism, and theft. Consider the following examples:

  • Physical security measures: These measures include installing security cameras, deadbolt locks, and security gates.
  • Access control measures: These measures involve using keycard access, keypad entry, and security guards.
  • Monitoring systems: These systems monitor the property for signs of unauthorised activity, including motion sensors, alarm systems, and video surveillance.

Repairs and Maintenance

Repairs and maintenance are the activities that keep a property in good condition. Repairs fix broken or worn-out structures, while maintenance prevents them from breaking or wearing out in the first place.

For example, if a faucet leaks, it will need repairs to fix the leak. But, if it isn’t leaking, maintenance may be performed to prevent the leak from happening in the future. These services involve tightening the faucet or replacing the washers.

Removal of Debris and Cleaning

Removing debris involves getting rid of trash, unwanted furniture, and other personal belongings from a property, while cleaning is the maintenance of floors, walls, and ceilings. A property manager may hire a cleaning crew to remove debris and clean a building after a tenant moves out.

Pest Management

Pest management means preventing, controlling, and eradicating pests from a building. This includes rodents, insects, and other animals that can damage property, spread disease, and make a building unsanitary.

A landlord may hire a pest control company to inspect a building for signs of pests. If the exterminator finds any intruders, they’ll take steps to control or eradicate them, such as using pesticides or traps.

Waterproofing and Damp Proofing

These roofing services prevent water from entering and accumulating on a property and involve applying sealants, membranes, or other materials to the building's exterior or interior.

For instance, A landlord may hire a damp proofing contractor to seal a building’s foundation, preventing water from seeping in. This will help protect the property from water damage, such as mould growth and structural damage.

Preparing the Property for Winter

These services are performed to protect a building from the cold or snow. Here are a few examples:

  1. Insulating the property to keep the heat in and the cold out.
  2. Sealing any cracks or holes to prevent drafts and moisture from entering the building.
  3. Winterising the plumbing to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
  4. Salting or sanding the walkways and driveways to prevent slips and falls.
  5. Removing leaves and debris from the gutters to prevent ice dams from forming.

Property Inspections and Surveys

Property inspections and surveys are activities performed to assess the condition of a building. Have a look at some of these services:

  • Inspecting the property's exterior: These services help identify damages to a building's exterior, such as cracks in the foundation or peeling paint.
  • Inspecting the property's interior: This helps identify damages to the property's interior, such as water damage or mould growth.
  • Surveying the property: A survey helps identify potential hazards in the space, such as downed trees or loose rocks.

Garden and Lawn Upkeep

These services help maintain a property's garden and lawn, including watering, mowing, weeding, and pruning. It’s important to keep your garden and lawn healthy and looking their best, to improve the property's appearance, and make it more enjoyable for tenants and buyers.

Consider the following garden and lawn upkeep activities and their relevance:

  1. Watering the garden keeps the plants healthy and prevents them from dying.
  2. Mowing the lawn keeps it healthy and prevents it from overgrowing.
  3. Removing weeds keeps the garden and lawn free of unwanted plants.
  4. Pruning trees and shrubs keeps them healthy and prevents them from overgrowing.

Reporting and Documentation

Reporting and documentation involve creating and maintaining records of a property’s condition and the preservation work performed on it. The process improves communication, increases accountability, and enhances decision-making about the property.

Take a look at these reporting and documentation activities:

  • Creating reports: Reports document the condition of a property before and after work, tracking its state over time and informing future repairs or maintenance.
  • Taking photographs: Photographs provide visual evidence of work done, documenting the condition of a property before and after work.
  • Creating records: Records track expenses associated with property preservation, including the date, type, and cost of work performed.

What Are Some of the Most Typical Property Preservation Disagreements?

Property disputes can arise between landlords and tenants, property owners and managers, or property preservation companies. Here’s a list of the common property conflicts:

  • Maintenance responsibilities
  • Quality of workmanship
  • Timeliness of services
  • Disagreements on the scope of work
  • Contractual problems
  • Insurance coverage disagreements
  • Disputes over property access

Maintenance Responsibilities

These are the duties and obligations of landlords and tenants to keep a property in good condition. They’re usually outlined in the lease and may also be governed by local laws and regulations.

For example, a tenant may argue that the landlord is responsible for fixing a broken window. Contrary, the landlord may argue that the tenant is responsible for fixing the window because they broke it.

Quality of Workmanship

This is the standard of work performed when a property is being maintained or repaired. This includes the materials used, the methods employed, and the overall appearance of the work.

For instance, a tenant may argue that repairs to their unit were not done to a high standard, while the landlord may argue that the repairs were done to a satisfactory standard.

Timeliness of Services

This refers to how quickly maintenance or repairs are performed. It can be a source of contention, especially if the property isn’t habitable or repairs are needed to prevent further damage.

A tenant may argue that the landlord is not responding to maintenance requests on time, while the landlord may argue that they’re doing their best with their resources.

Disagreements on the Scope of Work

The scope of work is a list of specific tasks to be performed as part of a maintenance or repair project. Disagreements may arise when there is a dispute about what work is included in the project.

For example, a landlord may hire a contractor to repair the roof of a property, but they may disagree about whether the scope of work includes repairing the gutters and downspouts. The landlord may think that the contractor is only responsible for fixing the roof, while the contractor may believe they are also responsible for repairing the gutters and downspouts.

Contractual Problems

Contractual problems are issues that arise from a contract between two parties. They range from minor misunderstandings to significant disputes.

They may arise from the following sources:

  • Improper contract drafting: A poorly drafted contract creates misunderstandings and disagreements between the parties because it may be unclear about each party's scope of work, terms of payment, or responsibilities.
  • Changes to the scope of work: If the scope changes after the contract is signed, it creates disagreements about who is responsible for the extra work. The original contract may still need to be updated to reflect these changes.
  • Late payments: If payments are not made on time, it creates disputes about whether the contractor is still obligated to perform the work. The contractor may not be able to afford to continue working without payment.
  • Property damage: If a property is damaged during the project, it creates disagreements about who is responsible.

Insurance Coverage Disagreements

These disputes are disagreements between two parties about whether or not insurance coverage applies to a particular loss. They arise in the following contexts:

  • The type of insurance policy: A property owner may have a homeowners insurance policy that covers damage to the property but doesn’t cover damage caused by vandalism.
  • The terms of the insurance policy: The policy may have a deductible that the property owner must pay before the insurance company pays for the loss.
  • The cause of the loss: If the property owner's negligence caused the loss, the insurance company may not be obligated to pay for it.

Disputes Over Property Access

These are disagreements between two parties about whether or not one has the right to enter or use the property. They may arise from the sources below:

  • Lease agreements: A landlord may have the right to enter to make repairs, but a tenant may be able to refuse entry if the landlord doesn’t give reasonable notice.
  • Contractor contracts: The contractor has the right to enter the property to perform work, but the property owner may be able to refuse entry if the contractor doesn’t have the proper permits.
  • Laws and regulations: In some jurisdictions, landlords may be required to give tenants 24 hours' notice before entering the property.

How Much Does Property Preservation Cost in the United Kingdom?

Property preservation costs in the UK range from £1,000 to £10,000. This cost varies depending on the size and condition of the property, the type of work required, and the property's location.

And the larger the property, the more expensive it will be to preserve since big buildings require more materials, labour, and extensive repairs. Some projects, like roof repairs or damp remediation, are more expensive as they need specialised skills and materials.

Does Insurance cover Property Preservation?

Yes, property preservation may be covered by insurance. There are many insurance policies that cover property preservation. Consider the following examples:

  • General liability insurance: This policy covers claims for injury, property damage, and other losses that may occur due to your property preservation activities.
  • Errors and omissions insurance: The policy covers claims for damages arising from mistakes or errors made during your preservation project.
  • Business property insurance: This covers your business property, such as your equipment, inventory, and other assets.
  • Professional liability insurance: This policy covers claims for damages from your property preservation services.

Are There Any Property Preservation Rules or Legal Requirements in the United Kingdom?

Yes, the United Kingdom has property preservation rules and legal requirements. These laws vary depending on the type of property, the location of the property, and the intended use of the property.

The Property Preservation Association (PPA) is a trade association that champions the interests of property preservation professionals in the UK. The PPA has developed a suite of codes of practice and guidance documents that set the standards property preservation providers should strive to meet.

Here are examples of the standard property preservation rules and legal requirements in the UK:

  • Building Preservation Notice: This notice gives local authorities the power to protect a building from demolition or alteration temporarily.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): All domestic landlords are legally required to provide an EPC to their tenants, which offers information on the property's energy efficiency.
  • Landlord and Tenant Act 1985: This act sets out several rights and responsibilities for landlords and tenants, such as the duty to keep the property in a good state of repair.
  • Planning Act 2008: This act allows local authorities to control development and ensure that new buildings are compatible with their surroundings.

Conclusion

Property preservation is essential for landlords in the UK. You should understand your legal obligations concerning these services and have a plan to maintain your property regularly.

And if you need more assistance, we’re a certified property care and preservation company in Leeds that can assess your buildings' condition, develop a maintenance plan, and carry out the necessary repairs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you protect your investments.

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