Autumn is upon us once more, which means darker days and longer nights, but it also means that activity is returning to the property market. For landlords, it’s an essential time to conduct another property inspection.
With more tenants moving in and out of rental properties during the autumn season, landlords must make sure that their investments are in tip-top condition before new tenants arrive.
But we’ve found that landlords aren’t carrying out enough property inspections, with many visiting their investments just once a year or less. This can have a detrimental effect on the safety and condition of your property as autumn kicks in.
With the harsh winter weather now on its way, we have compiled some top tips to help you conduct an effective autumn property inspection:
Go in the daytime
During summer, you have longer hours to visit the property in order to inspect it sufficiently. But, now that it’s getting darker much earlier, you’re more restricted. In order to get the best view of the interior and exterior of your property, plan your visits for the daytime. This way, you’ll uncover any issues that may have been hidden in the darkness.
Top Tips for Conducting an Autumn Property Inspection
Beware of fallen leaves
The bright shades of autumn are truly beautiful, but with the red and yellow leaves come colourful debris. If there are trees around your property, make sure that any fallen leaves are cleared from the entryway of the home and the gutters – if you don’t complete this simple maintenance task, you could find yourself (or your tenants) with a broken leg after slipping on the path, or with some blocked drains, which could cause much more expensive damage in the long-term.
Don’t ignore mould
Damp and mould can be rife during the colder months, so it’s essential that you make a note of any signs that you spot and make plans to rectify it. You should also remind your tenants of ways that they can reduce damp, and write your expectations into the periodic inspection report. We have a great guide that helps you understand what can be done: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/news/landlords-guide-condensation-control/
Check the pipes
With the cold weather on its way, it’s essential that you check the pipes for any signs of loose joints or small leaks. If you catch these problems early and make repairs soon, you’ll avoid a huge bill when the pipes freeze in the winter. You may also want to consider lagging the pipes to keep the heat in. Ask your tenants to let you know if they are going to be away for a long period over the festive season, so that you can look after the property while they’re not home.
Remember the roof
It’s easy to have a quick swoop around the inside of the home and call it a property inspection. But you must remember that ignoring small issues now could cost you later, particularly when it comes to the roof. With high winds already hitting some parts of the country and colder weather on its way, fixing a loose roof tile now could prevent serious damage further down the line.
Make a plan for the next inspection
While it is good practice to complete an inspection report after visiting your property, this will also help you and your tenants stick to your responsibilities in looking after the property. Mark down all of the issues you’ve seen and ask your tenants if they’re having any problems. Then, make a plan for all tasks that must be completed before your next inspection – this way, your tenants will know what their duties are, and will have proof that you are taking care of their home.
We hope that you don’t find too many problems on your autumn property inspection – but it’s always better to find them now, rather than further down the line!
Just Landlords is a trading name of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 7th Floor, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909
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