There is some truth to the stereotype that being a landlord is all about dealing with 'toilets and tenants'.

Regardless of how long you've been a landlord or how hands-on you are in the management of your portfolio, there will always be occasions when your maintenance man isn't available, or it just doesn't make financial sense to call them out.

It's at times like these when a modestly kitted toolbox, supplies and basic DIY skills will come in handy. So before you fill your Christmas list with things you don't really want or need, consider asking for some of these useful items (and an accompanying toolbox that will fit in the boot of your car, if you don't have one).

Drain unblocker - Let's start as we mean to go on, with toilet troubles. It's always a good idea to make sure your rental properties are equipped with inexpensive, yet extremely useful plungers. This means that you can instruct your tenants to try unblocking sinks and toilets themselves in the first instance. If the problem doesn't go away, then give it a go yourself with a toilet auger, also known as a drain snake.

Silicone - Leaky showers, baths and sinks can lead to much bigger problems for landlords and are often caused by poor sealing. Frequent re-sealing is a boring, but potentially huge cost-saving task.

WD40 - As well as being great for cleaning toilet bowls and shining shower doors (apparently), WD40 is your DIY best friend. It will loosen rusty nuts and bolts, lubricate locks and protect tools.

Multi-tool - Fits in your pocket, and depending on the type or brand, a multi-tool could include anything from an LED torch, pliers and screwdrivers to wire cutters and a mini saw. Most of them also have a bottle opener for those situations where a relaxing refreshment is needed!

Spanner - A spanner or wrench is essential for undoing or tightening fixings. You could use one to replace a tap washer or repair a leaky pipe.It's not the case that one size fits all though, so make sure you get a set or at the very least, an adjustable spanner.

Magnolia - Or to be less specific, general paint supplies. Whatever colour you have decorated your rental property with, make sure you have a few tins of paint in the garage for touch ups and bigger refurbishment jobs in between tenants. And make sure you have the accompanying accessories too, like brushes, rollers, dust sheets and paint tape.

DIY guide - If any of the common property maintenance problems scare you, then you might want to put some kind of DIY guide at the top of your Christmas list. There are lots out there, many of which are also available on Kindle and iBooks.

You might be surprised at how much money having these tools to hand will save you in property management and maintenance services. They'll also come in useful around your own home.