10 handyman tasks your landlord should oblige before you move in

Handyman flatpack assemblyWhen you move in to your new rental home, you want the place to be in a good condition. Maintenance issues such as leaking taps, lights that don’t work and stubborn locks can become a real nuisance if not dealt with before you move in. Also if you don’t insist on getting issues fixed before you move in they can sometimes get forgotten about and never get done for the duration of your tenancy.

Sometimes people are not sure of which types of things they can reasonably ask their landlord to fix before moving in and so tend not to ask them to get them sorted. OK so you can’t expect them to convert the living room in to a home cinema, but there are a general list of items that both landlords and property managers tend to fix if the issues are raised by tenants. Some of which you may not be aware of when viewing the property.

Below is a check list of common issues that in general will get fixed if you ask and will also ensure your term in the property is a stress free and happy one.

  • Stubborn locks
  • Toilet flush
  • Mouldy silicone
  • Shower heads and hoses
  • Lighting
  • Painted shut windows
  • Leaking taps
  • Broken furniture
  • Faulty extraction
  • Mouldy walls

Stubborn locks

By stubborn locks we mean entrance locks that are really difficult to open, for example you put the key in the door and you then need to wiggle the key for ages until you can eventually get in, very annoying if you have to this every time you come home. This means the locks are worn and so will need replacing anyway sooner or later. Locks should function properly and can also be a safety hazard if you need to escape the property in an emergency.

Toilet flush

Another common problem, toilets that never stop flushing or flush with just a trickle of water are unacceptable and should definitely be fixed. The internal workings of a toilet inside the cistern wear or need to be re-adjusted over time to ensure a perfect flush. This is normally a simple job to fix and can really grate on your nerves if its not sorted.

Mouldy silicone

You find silicone in bathrooms and kitchens and is used to seal edges between baths, sinks, and worktops to stop water ingress. It can become mouldy and turn an unsightly black. As well as looking horrible it can also cause leaks if left for to long. Silicone can be replaced and makes such a difference to the look and feel of a room. Its reasonable to ask your property manager to change mouldy silicone and they should oblige.

Shower hoses and heads

Showers perform part of our daily routines and leaking shower hoses and shower heads that blocked from limescale can be jarring. Cheap shower hoses tend to split at where they connect to the supply and due to the hard water in London, shower heads get blocked. If they are like this when you first arrive ask for them to be changed. Just remember to descale the new head every so often and insist on a good quality hose. The difference between a cheap and nasty hose and a good quality one is only about 20 pounds.


An obvious one, but some tenants feel bad asking for new ones. Normally after you move in, bulbs are your responsibility, but when you first move in then its OK and normally accepted to get them installed by your property manager. Sometimes its also more than just a bulb that why a light does not work, for example a downlight may need a new transformer. Definitely an issue that needs looking at.

Painted shut windows

Window issues range from painted shut victorian windows or lost lock keys. As well as obvious safety issues of un openable windows, you need to keep cool in summer and circulate fresh air on a regular basis. There are two main reasons that victorian windows get painted shut, one is because the ropes inside the frames have snapped and so the owner decides to just make the window redundant. The other reason is that cowboy decorators have done an awful job! Both problems can be fixed although unfortunately it is rare that landlords will fix the ropes because of the cost. On the other hand if the windows are just painted shut, then a good handyman will be able to remove the paint and get them moving again.

Leaking taps

The handyman’s most common job, landlords will usually get this done ASAP because if left, the water damage from a small leak can run into the thousands to repair. Don’t let this go and if you find any kind of leak, notify your property manager immediately.

Broken furniture

As a flat pack furniture assembly service we often get asked by property managers to fix and build replacement furniture for them. If your new rental home is supplied as furnished, you are within your rights to insist it is in good working order and fit for purpose. Common things to check before you move in are drawers that do not run properly, broken hinges on kitchen cupboard doors and wardrobe doors. Also as a safety precaution against furniture falling on children, furniture items need to be fixed to the wall. Also some landlords supply cheap beds with weak slats that tend  to snap.

Faulty extraction

Extractor fans are essential for removing damp air from rooms and are usually found in bathrooms and kitchens. Sometimes they can stop working from either an electrical fault or from a blocked filter. Some extractor fans automatically come on when you turn on the light but others need to be switched on manually. Ask your property manager to have them tested before you move in. If damp air is not removed it can lead to both mouldy silicone as described above, but also unsightly black mouldy on walls which leads to our next issue.

Mouldy walls

Having inadequate extraction can lead to unsightly black mould forming on walls, it can also spread to adjoining rooms. If you find even the smallest amount of mould before you move in then ask for it to be dealt with asap as it is also unhealthy and can spread very quickly if left.

So if you are about to move in to your new home, take this list along as a checklist of common issues of rental properties that if you ask to be rectified normally your request will be obliged by the property manager. Because the above issues are not necessarily serious, property managers may just leave them if they are not raised by the tenant, but if you do ask then you should find you will have success.  

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