MARCH signals the beginning of spring and is the perfect time of year for both landlords
MARCH signals the beginning of spring and is the perfect time of year for both landlords and tenants to check the general condition of a property to make sure it is in tip-top shape for the summer months - or so says Cara Wrightson, property manager at the Henley branch of Savills in Bell Street.
“For landlords, a once-over of the property should be done to assess any damage that may have been caused by the harsh weather over the winter period,” says Cara. “Of course, for those landlords who have opted for a management service, your agent will likely undertake these checks for you - as do Savills.”
Cara’s top spring tips are as follows:
1. As the weather gets warmer, there is a greater risk of pests. To prevent pests coming into a home, check the roof for any slipped tiles, rips or tears. Also, make sure there isn’t any crumbling brickwork or holes in the exterior walls. In particular, check airbricks and ventilation covers along with historic gaps/holes from old plumbing systems.
2. If you’re living in a property or any outbuilding that happens to be timber-clad, it could pay to have a look at the exterior woodwork. Fix any damaged areas now before they get out of hand.
3. The boiler and heating system may have been working overtime during the colder months, so to help mitigate future issues consider undertaking a timely service of the system. On the cooling side, if the property has the benefit of air conditioning, get the units checked now so they are fully operational in time for warmer temperatures.
4. Gutters and downpipes should be cleared of leaves and debris â€” and check that drains and soakaways are clear and free-running. If not, check your agreement with your tenant as it is likely that they will share some responsibility for having them cleared.
5. For tenants, you should give thought to enjoying the property over the summer and have a look at your garden. Unless your landlord provides gardening services within your rent, you should plan ahead and start looking at a plan for maintenance. In particular, clear the lawns and borders of obvious weeds now before they take hold. If you have a patio or garden furniture, it is likely it will need to be cleaned and, if made of wood, re-oiled to make it look smart in time for outdoor entertaining.
6. As a tenant you should always keep an eye on the property and report maintenance issues to your landlord or agent in a timely manner, so that if during the course of your “spring clean” you happen to notice anything untoward, make sure you report it in writing so that action can be taken.