by Roger Clist
This book covers the writer’s experiences in the pleasant dormitory suburbs of West Auckland, a somewhat hilly area of modest homes which caters well to the renting community. In summer it is pleasantly warm. In winter we get a few frosts, but no ice or snow. Few properties have air conditioning, central heating or double glazing. But we get a lot of rain, and visitors chuckle at our “fine, with showers” forecasts.
Judging by the popularity and size of hardware stores, there are plenty of DIY (do-it-yourself) people resident in the locality whose interests are closely aligned with mine. While my experiences, recounted here, are largely limited to the homes and rental properties that have featured in my personal history, there are plenty of topics in this book to give any house-owner or property investor some idea of how to tackle their own maintenance issues. The “know how, can do” jingle of a popular chain of hardware stores aptly expresses my sentiments.
Mr Landlord, Mr Fix-it is a companion volume to Working Landlord, Happy Tenants† (which deals with rental property ownership, tenancy management and landlord accounting). Originally my intention was to publish a single reference book for hands-on landlords and those who aspired to move into property investment. But as the manuscript evolved, it became clear that there was so much to say on maintenance that it warranted its own title. And so Mr Landlord, Mr Fix-it was conceived.
Mr Landlord, Mr Fix-it does not cover construction and development, much as the subjects interest me. Nor do I discuss decoration or refurbishment. These topics are well covered by current titles in bookshops. Instead, I’ve written for the person who has a vested interest in property and wants to know what sorts of problems arise, how to recognise them, and then make a choice as to how the situation is tackled—do you find someone to fix the problem, or do you give it a go yourself?
Maintenance is a sore point in our household, as I have often delayed doing work around the house while attending to issues on the rental properties. When your wife suggests that she pays rent in order to raise the priority of jobs that affect the home and family, then you realise that priorities need reassessment and it will be wise to divert some of your landlording time and skills to solving matters at home. It’s hard being a working landlord. People who have secondary employment will know the feeling.
You know how it is when you talk with people about your experiences and there’s so much to describe that you end up saying “I could write a book on it!”
Well, I did. And now, I’ve written two. For my family, and for you.