We usually hear a lot of talk around seasonal maintenance during the winter months, but summer can be just as important when it comes to keeping your rental property in a good condition. If you’re a landlord, these are the seasonal maintenance tasks you should look to complete this July…
Another periodic inspection
With summer now upon us, it is the perfect time to conduct another periodic inspection if you haven’t done one for a while. This helpful guide explains how frequently you should complete inspections of your rental property and what they should involve.
A change in season can highlight issues in your property that may have been hidden before, and summer is no exception. Now that we’ve enjoyed some warmer weather, it is worth organising an inspection with your tenants so that you can take note of any problems and arrange a time to solve them before the season changes again.
Gardens, of course, are the first thing you think of when considering seasonal maintenance on your property during summer – the plants are in full bloom (or dead from the harsh winter) and your tenants will be enjoying the outdoor space more frequently.
If your tenant is responsible for maintaining your property’s garden, the periodic inspection is a good time to reiterate your expectations from them. Following the visit, write up your inspection report and explain how you expect them to maintain the outside space over the summer months.
Alternatively, if you’re more of a hands-on landlord who takes responsibility for the garden yourself, you should look to arrange times that are suitable with your tenant to complete the required work. If they’re going on holiday, for instance, you could spend a few days at the property and really tidy up the garden for when they get back.
Otherwise, for those of you that use a gardener, be aware that you may need to book them in more regularly during the summer months.
Windows and doors
Two parts of your property that you may often forget about or neglect over the summer are the windows and doors. During your periodic inspection, ensure that all windows and doors open and close properly, and apply lubricating oil to hinges. If you fit draught excluders over the winter months, you should also remove or replace these.
Additionally, don’t forget to inspect window putty on the outside of the glass panes and replace if necessary.
It’s important to remember that the cost of replacing irreparable windows and doors is high, so ensure that you maintain and repair them regularly. Wooden window frames and sills, in particular, are susceptible to damage caused by a moist climate, as well as any doors that are exposed to the elements. As with most maintenance tasks, it’s wise to sort issues early and remove signs of rot before it spreads.
If you do need to replace windows and doors, make sure to get two or three quotes from reputable tradespeople, and don’t just take their word for it that they need replacing – repairs may be sufficient if done correctly.
It is especially important to keep all quotes, receipts and specifications if you do replace your windows, as you may need to provide these to energy performance assessors in the future; new windows will likely boost your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, which could help you comply with the Government’s new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).
If repairs are being made on rotten windows, ensure that your contractor follows the correct procedure:
- Remove rotten wood with a chisel
- Sand down and prepare windows for filling with an epoxy filler that returns wood of frames and windows to the original dimensions ready for painting
- Use paint for outdoor use (indoor paint will not protect the windows against harsh weather conditions)
Repairing windows and doors can be a big job, so it’s worth finding out if your tenant is going on holiday this summer, in order to complete the work while the property is empty.
Before the end of the month, be sure to address these seasonal maintenance issues and prepare your property for summer.