It’s time for a spring clean, writes Bernadette Oliver of Savills Lettings, Harpenden
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March signals the beginning of Spring and is the perfect time of year to check the general condition of a property to make sure it’s in tip-top shape for the Summer months.
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. And 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. If the property or any outbuilding is timber clad, take a look at the exterior woodwork and take the opportunity to get any damaged areas repaired, then treated or repainted.
Gutters and downpipes should be cleared of leaves and debris, and check that drains and soak-aways 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.
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 hotter temperatures.
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. Particularly, 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.
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If you have an outdoor pool, now is the time to open it up, top it, clear any debris and make sure the chemicals are level, so it is in full working order by the Summer.
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 if in 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.
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Of course, for those landlords who have opted for a management service your agent will likely undertake these checks for you.