What a summer it has been, record breaking in fact. Maintenance is a must for landlords this year. We have put together our top tips so you can fix small issues now and prevent them escalating later when the weather changes later in the year.

Property inspection

Start your checklist of things ‘to do’ with a property inspection. These should be being done a minimum of quarterly, although this can be twice a year for those tenants you feel confident with.

Arrange a mutually convenient time to meet your tenants at the property and check the conditions against the inventory report you made at the beginning. Then any changes you or they must make can be highlighted. Double check with the tenants that there’s nothing they’ve noticed that needs attention. Sometimes people find these conversations easier in person rather than emailing or phoning.

After the inspection, write it up into a report as then you and the tenants have a document to agree who needs to do what before the next inspection. It makes your expectations clear and also demonstrates your commitment to looking after the property.

Please note: Orchards Estates completes these checks for you and provides you with a detailed report including full colour photographs.

Hot weather damage

Winter is normally when we are most aware of weather affecting properties but the summer can actually be as destructive, especially with the temperatures it’s been this year. Take care to notice damage the conditions could have caused.

Dry weather can increase subsidence, which can have serious effects on the foundations and make properties unstable. Cracks in the walls, often around weak spots like windows and doors, or extensions can be a sign this is starting.

Make sure as well that your landlord insurance covers you for subsidence as it is possibly a long term problem if it starts.

Garden expectations

All gardens have suffered with the weather due to the sun. Of course waiting for the rain is an option but make sure the tenants are aware of their responsibilities too.

In the inspection report, include a garden section, a description of the current condition and how to be maintain it before winter hits. The plants, shrubs and grass must be cut back to it is clear, tidy and before the cold comes.

If the garden becomes overgrown, it can harbour pests and also make it much harder to re-let. Ensure the tenants are aware you will continue to check the outside space on your subsequent inspections.

Check doors and windows

Often tenants go on holiday in the summer so the property is empty. This can provide an excellent opportunity to do some work on the exterior. Focus on windows and doors, firstly that they open and close easily.

With windows, check the exterior putty around the panes. Apply lubricating oil to hinges and also replace worn out draught excluders.

A contractor can remove rotten wood and jobs like this are worth their weight as they prevent bigger problems occurring in wet winter weather.

Chimney and roof checks

Summer is the best time to check the top of the house and it is best to hire a contractor for this too. So many accidents happen to the inexperienced or those without the correct equipment. It is rarely worth the risk.

Get leaves and debris cleared away and check roof flashings for cracks or leaks. Ensure any tiles are affixed firmly or replaced so it’s all sturdy through winter.

Sort this sooner rather than later before the weather turns and save yourself a lot of money in the future.

‘Who you gonna call?’

If you have not got the time to carry out and write inspection reports, check gardens, assess wall cracks, ensure windows are sealed, make sure hinges are working, get up on the roof and fix it if necessary, don’t worry. You don’t have to do it all yourself. If you are a busy private landlord, please get in touch and we can easily recommend our trusted traders. Alternatively, we can talk you through the package options for managing your property so you get the investment results without the hassle.