Throughout this blog we discuss property maintenance, issues that may occur and useful prevention techniques.
If you are a landlord and rent out property to tenants, it is your responsibility to look after the general maintenance and repairs. Tenants will look to you should there be any form of damage to the property, both to the structure of the building or in terms of damage to fixtures and fittings that were provided as part of the tenancy agreement.
Over time, if you are good at keeping on top of these things as a landlord, the less likely you are to encounter any nasty surprises. Property issues can be incredibly costly if not dealt with quickly and effectively so it is important to tackle these issues head on, before they become a long-term headache.
Especially in winter when the cold and wet weather can cause new problems or exacerbate existing property issues, it is vital that you keep a regular eye on the maintenance and repair of your property. Which areas of the home should you look at? Below is a checklist to help.
The boiler keeps everything functioning within the home. Without a good working boiler, your tenants could end up being left with no hot water or heating and you could be left with a complaint or worst still, they could be so disgruntled they leave the property, leaving you with no rent.
Every year you should book in a boiler service with a trusted local company. The last thing you need as a landlord is for the boiler to stop working during the depths of winter. Boilers cost lots to repair or replace so prevention is definitely the way to go. Be aware that good engineers will be booked for weeks in advance, so make it a regular and consistent process and stay on top of any little issues with your boiler that could be a future big problem to save both headaches and money.
Linked to the boiler check-up, always take time to bleed your radiators prior to each winter. This is very easy to do yourself or get a boiler engineer to do it for you while they are there. Releasing any trapped air from the system ensures that all of your radiators are working effectively with full coverage and heating that warms up an entire room. Go around and check all of the radiators and pipes in your home and if you find any issues ensure that they are fixed quickly so you tenants are warm and happy.
Damp is a big concern as far as structural wear and tear is concerned in a property. It is very hard to get rid of damp once it has appeared and it can quickly take hold and become much worse over a short space of time. If your tenant’s dry clothes inside the home, ensure that they are aware of the benefits of doing so next to an open window whenever possible to prevent condensation. For bathrooms, offer good ventilation, whether that is a window or an extractor fan if it is a windowless room.
In winter it is important to ensure that the exterior of your home is ready to prevent potential long-term structural issues and damage to the property. Sweep away the leaves, twigs and moss from any outside area you have, clear the gutters, and check the downpipe. If these things are not cleared away in time it can cause blockages and potential damage with damp and other flooding issues should there be heavy rainfall.
It may be cold now but plan ahead for summer when it is important to check that everything is tidy in the garden and the entrance way to the property. Make sure windows open fully and are secure, especially in the event of a heatwave where there is a need for a clear and regular flow of air throughout the home.
Kitchen and Bathroom
Depending on what you provide as part of a tenancy agreement, it is important to stay on top of appliances in the kitchen and the shower and bath in the bathroom. Any little problems that you are made aware of should be dealt with as quickly as possible, as for a tenant there are few things worse than a bathroom or kitchen that are unworkable. Check appliances, seals, taps and drains while doing property inspections to prevent being called out separately when problems occur.
At Residential Estates we have a team that understands the property market and the importance of looking after a property as a landlord. Without clear direction and attention to detail, little problems can arise that over time become big. If you are proactive you can reduce your costs and keep your tenants happy. Happy tenants stay with you for longer and therefore are of more value to you so it is effort well spent.
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For more information, please feel free to contact our team on 01244 343 355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.