Landlords do these 10 things before the Autumn arrives
And so it begins, the end of summer is almost upon us and the weather will soon turn mild and oppressive. But we urge all landlords to do these 10 things before the autumn arrives to maintain their properties.
- Test the boiler. Most boiler systems, especially on Repton Park are around 16 years old and coming to the end of their lifespan. This means now more than ever there is the opportunity for something to happen in the colder climate, that could end up costing you money in repairs and replacements. Get a service and ensure that your boiler is in good condition and not in need of replacement.
- Check your seals. Again on Repton Park, windows are starting to need replacing. Panels have blown, sash springs are in need of replacement and drafty cracks have appeared from wear and tear. It’s time to give your windows the once over to ensure your fuel bills are where they should be come late autumn and winter.
- Check your Gas. It is a legal requirement to ensure that gas supply and gas equipment provided in your let properties meets british safety requirements. Failure to do so carries hefty fines and if something more serious was to happen due to a lack of testing, well a prison sentence could also be applied.
- Check the electrics. Landlords are also legally required to ensure that all electric sockets and goods provided pass an electrical safety check. Your tenants are able to request a copy of an electrical report prior to moving in or at any point during a tenancy, you must provide this if requested. It’s simpler to carry out an annual test of equipment, but now is a good a time as any to do so.
- Carbon Monoxide. Landlords are required to provide carbon monoxide detectors in properties that allow coal or wood burning fireplaces or stoves. However you can get carbon monoxide poisoning from gas appliances too, so be a great landlord and get one installed in rooms where gas, coal or wood burning equipment is found.
- Repair responsibility. Landlords are responsible for most repairs to the exterior or structure of a property. This means that problems with the roof, chimneys, walls, guttering and drains are the responsibility of the landlord. Landlords are also responsible for keeping the equipment for supplying water, gas and electricity in safe working order.
- Deposit Protection. It is a landlords legal responsibility to protect a tenants deposit and there are schemes you can use to do so. If the deposit isn’t protected and you fail to return it, you can face fines well in excess.
- Be clear on payment terms. If you haven’t already clarified payment terms with your tenant, now is the time to do it. You should have clear written payment terms with your tenants explaining when your rent is to be paid and how it should paid, for example by cash or cheque or into a bank account. You also cannot refuse to accept the rent payment from your tenants.
- Be a friend. Being a landlord can be stressful, that’s why so many agents offer management services. This isn’t an opportunity to shirk your responsibility to your tenant. Being a friendly landlord can reap long term benefits. Any decent agent will tell you that there are plenty of bad tenants out there. So work with your good tenants to provide a stable, well maintained home and you will more often than not find that you never have problems.
- Choose the right agent. If all of the above is too much for you to handle, find a very good property management agent to represent you. Don’t shop on price, services come at a premium and the lowest agency costs don’t guarantee you a good management service. Find an agent who has a number of properties in your area and a good reputation and approach them. After all, if you don’t want to be a friend to your tenant, find an agent that will do it for you.
There are a number of things that you can do to ensure your property remains in tip-top shape. Remember, the property is an investment and it needs looking after. If you don’t look after it, the investment will depreciate, your rental yields will go down and at some point you will have to invest a lot more in a complete interior renovation if you don’t keep up the wear and tear maintenance.
So landlords, do these 10 things before the autumn arrives and ensure your property, your tenant relationship or your property management partner all provide the best return for your money.
If you are a landlord in the East London/West Essex border areas and are open to discussing your property management needs, please feel free to call Hunt Property Services on 0208 502 7667