Autumn might be upon us, but the days are still sunny, making it a good time to tick off some maintenance jobs which will help to protect your property when winter comes.
Here are our top five recommendations for things to look at over the coming month. If your property is currently occupied, then check with your tenants beforehand to schedule any necessary works at a time when it will cause them the least inconvenience.
Check the roof
Ensure someone takes a look at the loft or roof space to check there aren’t any gaps where you can see light coming in – because that’s where water can penetrate. Don’t forget to have a look from the ground outside too to make sure flashing hasn’t lifted and there aren’t any slipped tiles.
Clear the guttering
Although winter’s when we get an extended period of wet weather, now the leaves are falling thick and fast, you need to make sure the gutters and drains are cleared, so the water can escape in the event of a heavy downpour.
Service the plumbing system and get the electrics checked
It’s always a good idea to have the electrics checked annually by an NICEIC approved electrician and whilst your tenants are highly unlikely to have used the heating much over the summer, it’ll soon be used daily now temperatures are dropping.
Bleed radiators, drain down and flush through the heating system to ensure it’s functioning as it should. Organise to have a boiler service too - the new law allows you to have a gas safety certificate up to two months in advance of the due date. This way, if anything does need repairing or replacing, it’s not going to leave your tenants shivering.
Is the garden easy to maintain?
It’s easy for gardens to get overgrown and untidy, which can have a detrimental effect on the look of your rental property.
Now that summer is over and plants, shrubs and trees have grown rapidly over the summer, take the time to cast a critical eye over the garden and consider the following:
a. Would it be wise to severely cut back or remove some?
b. Could you replace some fast-growing plants with more hardy, lower-maintenance ones?
c. Lawns are desirable, especially in back gardens, but if your property has lawn to the front as well, consider if it would be worth paving that area or putting down gravel to provide additional off-road parking.
Although you’ll need to spend a little money now, it’s likely to be worthwhile to help keep the exterior looking its best and reduce the need for lots of work to get it in shape between tenancies.
Touch up any exterior paintwork
It may be that some of it just needs a good clean, but if you have any flaking or discoloured paintwork, get it touched up while the weather’s still warm and it’s going to dry quickly. While you’re looking at the window frames and sills, check the seals and replace any that look to be failing too.
The smarter your property looks, the better it will let and remain let - keeping hold of your current tenants is just as important as attracting new ones. It’s also vital to helping you maintain or improve your property’s value. Although you might feel you’re getting in your tenants’ way by having maintenance work carried out, they’ll be pleased to see you’re taking care of their home.
Finally, while the weather’s still nice, encourage your tenants to open the windows to allow air to circulate. Surface mould is one of the most common issues in rented properties and can be caused due to a lack of ventilation and trapping damp air inside. While it won’t get rid of any existing mould, opening the windows on a regular basis will be good for both the property and your tenants’ health and don’t forget, you can be fined for letting a mouldy property, so if you aren’t sure of the cause, ask an expert surveyor for their view.
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