Maintaining Your Buy-to-Let Property This Summer
The British summer defies all expectations. You only ever hear people complain about the weather in Britain, but this summer we’re set for a scorcher – despite the floods that much of the nation has experienced. Temperatures are rising across the UK, and are expected to reach 34֯C in some parts.
With the summer coming to its peak, landlords need to be ready to make sure their properties stay in tip-top shape this season. Here are some tips to ensure your rental stays looking its best for the summer.
Advise Your Tenants to Stay Safe
Open windows and doors are an invitation to thieves. The high temperatures mean your tenants will want to keep their windows and doors open to cool down the property and let a breeze through.
It’s understandable that with record-high heats expected this summer, tenants will want to relieve some of their discomforts and find a way to cool down. However, leaving windows and doors open makes the property an easy target for opportunistic burglars.
According to the ONS, 14% of burglaries that occurred between April 2017 and March 2018 were made easy by an unlocked door. Unlocked doors are the second most common method of entry during robberies.
As a landlord there are a few things you can do to keep your property safe this summer:
- Keep in contact with your tenants, and make sure you are kept up to date on any summer holidays or long periods of time where the property will be vacant
- Check your insurance policy regarding vacant homes – some insurers will not cover a property that is left vacant for more than 30 days
- Send your tenants a reminder of their responsibilities for security in accordance with your tenancy agreement
- Maintain window and door locks
Maintain Your Property
The winter may be over, meaning no more faulty boilers, damp-proofing, or patching leaks. However, that doesn’t mean the need to maintain your property gets put on hold for the season. Summer brings its own list of maintenance tasks that landlords need to keep up with.
- Keeping Clean
No one wants to live in a dirty house – inside or out. As the seasons change, the exterior of your property can become grubby. Once a year, take a pressure washer to the outside and keep it clean and sparkling to attract top tenants.
If you have any interior elements that are only used in winter (for example, a fireplace), have them cleaned early in the summer. This will ensure that everything is in good shape to be used again when winter returns.
- Garden Maintenance
Trim your trees and shrubs in a proactive way and don’t wait until they become unsightly. Not only does this mean less work for you or your landscaper later in the year, but it also keeps tenants happy.
- Maintain Fly Screens
Windows and doors are going to be open during the day, and swarms of bugs are going to want to get into your property. Unfortunately, bug screens can rip and tear quite easily, so keep on top of maintenance and repair any holes or replace screens if necessary.
- Service the Air Con
If you have air conditioning in your property, you should have it frequently serviced to make sure your property can be maintained at a comfortable temperature level. According to Young Air, you should service your A/C unit at least once every 12 months.
- Pest Control
Termites, bedbugs, mice and other pests love to get into your homes in the summer. If they aren’t stamped out at the first sign, they can start to cause costly damage. Be proactive – regularly check your property and make sure tenants know to call you if they spot any signs of pests.
- Mould Checks
Mould spores peak in summer. In the UK, we experience a humid summer season, giving mould a perfect chance to grow. Mould can be costly to get rid of, if not tackled at the first sign. It can also pose a health risk to tenants, especially those with asthma.
- Check Appliances
Appliances should be checked twice a year. Washing machines, fridges and other white goods are becoming more complicated, and have more elements that can become faulty. Check your appliances at the start of the season and ask tenants to call you if they spot any issues to prevent costly repairs.
- Smoke Detectors
Regulations dictate that it is the landlord’s responsibility to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. It is good practice to check on smoke alarms to make sure they are working during a property inspection.
Summing up, summer brings with it a new list of tasks for landlords. If you create a checklist, you can easily keep on top of tasks rather than waiting for them all to pile up. Being proactive is the best way to keep tenants happy and keep your property in good standing. Make a list of all the things you need to get done during the summer, and start checking them off.
If you use a professional and highly qualified property management service, you could make sure that your summer is a time to relax. To learn about effortless property management, contact Ezytrac today +44 0 1522 503 717.
Yours in Effortless Property Management,