Whilst the sun may still be shining in many places, those chilly mornings are a clear sign that autumn is undeniably just around the corner.
This time of year is the perfect opportunity for landlords to schedule an inspection to check up on the condition of their buy to let, complete any niggling maintenance jobs and generally ensure that the property is in tip top shape before the winter weather kicks in.
Here are our top 5 tips for landlords this autumn:
Service the boiler and any other gas appliances
It is definitely a good idea to have the boiler and any other gas appliances serviced before the wintery conditions start to bite. Trying to organise for a boiler repair during a cold snap or the Christmas break is a headache that most landlords are keen to avoid for a very good reason!
Don’t forget the exterior of the property
It is important not to neglect the exterior areas of your property. Make sure you check and repair any garden gates or fences and check the condition of all of the exterior paintwork – including window frames. If you have a garden, ensure the tenants have kept it clean and tidy with weeds and fallen leaves removed. Finally, inspect the gutters to ensure they are clear from obstructions. Ensure your property is as secure as possible.
Burglary rates increase once the clocks change due to the darker nights, so tenants need to be especially vigilant at this time of year.
Most burglars are opportunists, so making it really hard to get in is usually enough to put them off. Put good locks on the front door and ensure tenants know to deadlock the door when they go out. If there are ladders and other tools in the shed, make sure this is locked at all times as if a burglar sees them it is likely to make your property a target.
Spot bathroom issues early
In a rented property, the bathroom is often the room which suffers the worst wear and tear. As the weather gets colder, it is more tempting for tenants to keep the window closed which can lead to damage from condensation and, eventually, damp. And even with the most conscientious tenants living in your property, the grout between tiles and sealant can discolour, crack or loosen. When this happens, you no longer have a waterproof seal and water can leak through and damage the surrounding walls or floor below. As soon as you notice any cracks or holes, you should replace the sealant or grout to prevent water damage.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Scented candles are never more popular than in the colder months so it is especially important to ensure that all smoke alarms are in full working order. Checking these along with the carbon monoxide detector should always form part of your regular property inspection.
Once you are sure that your property is ready for winter, perhaps you should take a moment to ensure that your landlord insurance is equally up to the job – why not get a quote in 60 seconds from Discount Landlord?