With the seasons noticeably changing from summer to autumn, now is the ideal time to nip any niggling maintenance issues in the bud. Colder, wetter and windier weather can have a big impact on a property and it is far easier (and cheaper!) to ensure proactive checks are carried out and minor issues are dealt with early on than to deal with a big issue at the height of the worst weather. Not only is it a legal obligation to keep a rental property in repair and good working order, looking after your property can also help avoid large repair bills and establish a respectful relationship with your tenant.
HEATING & HOT WATER
As the colder weather sets in, many tenants report issues with their heating or hot water. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires a landlord to ensure the heating of the property and water is maintained at all times. However, minor steps taken now can help avoid emergency call-outs at the worst of times.
Before the central heating goes on, encourage your tenants to bleed the radiators. This can be easily done and there are plenty of step-by-step tutorials available on YouTube to talk them through it. Meanwhile, for peace of mind, it is also worth considering having the boiler serviced on a regular basis too. At Brittons we have contact with reliable, local plumbing & heating engineers who can carry this out for you.
ROOFS, PIPES, GUTTERS & FENCES
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 also puts an obligation on landlords to keep the structure and exterior of a property in repair, including the drains, gutters and pipes. Again, maintaining these parts of the property and resolving any issue proactively can prevent bigger issues becomes a problem at the worst possible time, especially as contractors cannot attend to issues in the height of the worst weather. Lagging pipes, clearing the gutters and ensuring that fences are secure and roofs are watertight can prevent damage and frustration when the weather is at its worst as winter hits.
INSPECT REGULARLY & ENCOURAGE TENANTS TO REPORT ISSUES EARLY ON
The sooner you’re aware of any maintenance issue, the easier it is to deal with proactively. These small issues usually only come to light when a tenant reports them, so encouraging a dialogue where all issues are acknowledged can make a big difference. Inspecting the property on a regular basis can also provide an opportunity to identify issues to do with the maintenance of the property.
At Brittons, we carry out routine property inspections every 4 months, whilst tenants also have access to maintenance reporting 24/7 by using a tenancy management app.
Using a letting agent can help you manage your rental property, from scheduling maintenance appointments, to carrying out inspections to being available 24/7 should the worst happen. For help managing seasonal maintenance, give us a call at Brittons 01553 692828 and let Brittons let for you.