Maintaining your property is one of the most important aspects of being a homeowner or landlord, and that includes giving your rental property a summer maintenance MOT.
Nathan Crombie, co-owner of Belvoir Brighton and Hove, advises all buy-to-let landlords to keep up to date with any maintenance work and ensure that any issues are dealt with at the earliest opportunity as this will help prevent small problems accelerating into larger more costly repairs
He points out that it will also help protect your property in the long-term and help reduce the need for additional investment input in order to obtain a sale should you decide to release your asset.
“Well-maintained properties are much more appealing to tenants, can help you achieve a higher rental return, reduce void periods for larger works to take place and create a lovely homely feel for all prospective applicants,” he said.
With the warmer weather and longer daylight hours, summer is the ideal time to undertake large-scale work, especially if this involves the external part of the property, and if you can time it so that work is undertaken while the tenant is on holiday, it will help minimise the disruption caused to them and make the whole process for tenants and contractors simpler.
So, what kind of maintenance is easier to execute in summer rather than delaying until the cold snap of winter?
Crombie explained: “On a practical level many maintenance issues are easier to deal with while the days are long and light.
“If your property is in need of exterior decorating, replacement windows or doors or you’re thinking about carrying out work on an extension then these will all be more conveniently undertaken in the summer months.”
As summer blossoms Crombie believes that it is also important to think about the garden, assuming you have one.
This is the time when a tenant will benefit most from a neat well thought-through scheme and, if you’re currently looking for new tenants, offering contemporary outdoor living solutions can really help ‘sell’ a rental property.
He continued: “The garden can prove a fantastic selling point when it comes to marketing your property.
“A great ‘tenant-friendly’ garden can help attract a wider audience and help increase the potential rental return you could achieve. It can also make the property much more appealing, add value and differentiate your property from similar properties which are also on the market.
“To make the most of your garden remove weeds and trim back any hedges, trees and shrubbery,” he continues. “If possible, remove fast-spreading ivy too.
“Additionally, ensure fences and garden walls are safe and secure, repairing any damage that may have occurred.
“First impressions last so make sure you maintain the front garden also. This will help elevate your property’s kerb appeal for potential new tenants and, again, ensure that it stands out from the competition.”
As part of your maintenance assessment, Crombie insists that it is also important to review what needs to be carried out before winter arrives in order to safeguard your property throughout the long winter months.
He added: “Summer is the perfect time to resolve any maintenance issues that occurred over the previous winter and address any issues that could occur over the next one,” says Nathan.
“Some simple tasks, such as clearing debris from gutters and drains for example, could prevent larger issues occurring in the winter months. It’s also useful to check the roof for loose or missing tiles, plus ensure all the windows and doors shut correctly and there aren’t any drafts. Perhaps look at providing additional insulation too.
“Now is also a good time to have the boiler checked and serviced in order to ensure that it is fully functional for the tenants when the cold weather arrives. On-going boiler maintenance may also help prevent more expensive and extensive work taking place should the boiler breakdown or not be as efficient as it should be.”