Summer has finally arrived, bringing its annual dose of sunshine and positive vibes. But before anyone starts throwing BBQs down, tenants and landlords alike should ask themselves one simple question – is their property or second property ready to face this change of seasons? If your answer is inconclusive at best, here are the things you’ll need to do before you can enjoy the nice weather.
Getting Ready for the Summer as a Landlord
Keep it cool with a well-working air conditioning
Summer is here and, with it, the unbearable temperatures. That is why it’s a good idea to call a licensed electrician well in advance to ensure that the A/C works by the book. A quality service will usually include a thorough check of your appliance, cleaning of its coils, damper adjustment, and removal of any debris that may have lowered the efficiency of your air conditioning.
Inspect your boiler from head to toe
Sure, it would be madness to turn the heating on when everything’s already melting outside. However, to avoid unpleasant surprises come autumn, it’s a good idea to check if your boiler system works well while it’s still not in heavy use. Arrange a meeting with your tenants and bleed the radiators, then check the pressure indicator before firing the thing up. If nothing happens or the pressure is lower than recommended – hire a certified professional.
Install carbon monoxide detectors
Building laws and regulations change all the time to reflect our current needs. This one here is a relatively recent law that obligates all landlords to install monoxide detectors in their properties. Failure to comply may lead to hefty fines – up to £5,000! Overall, you will do yourself and your tenants a big favour if you install these as soon as possible, especially during the summer when the cookers are almost never allowed to cool down to keep that garden party outside rolling.
Arrange all necessary safety checks
Ensuring that all your wiring and electrical installations are tip-top is very important, especially during the summer when people tend to overload the power grid on a frequent basis. This means that you will need to carry out a thorough inspection of all appliances and the wiring to ensure that they all meet the latest British safety standard, in this case BS 7671.
Gas safety is just as important as having proper wiring. You have to make sure that the pipework and all gas appliances that belong to you all receive gas safety (CP12) checks by a qualified professional on a yearly basis. You should then hand over a copy of this certificate to your current tenants to let them know that any issues have been properly taken care of.
Arrange a deep carpet cleaning and remove any stains or DIY
This piece of advice is valid all year long not just for Summer. Every tenant deserves and will highly appreciate a deeply cleaned rental. Tackling carpets, upholsteries and binds will surely make any landlord a better one in the eyes of the tenant.
If your property is carpeted, consider having it professionally cleaned and deodorised if planning to rent it during warm months. For pet-friendly properties this is mandatory.
You should also tackle any stains on carpets or rugs. Not all stains are created equal but you can try doing it yourself. To save some money, use natural spot cleaners as vinegar, baking soda. If the property was occupied by a pet-lover tenant, spot cleaning of the carpet is mandatory.
Dean Davies, a carpet cleaning professional from Fantastic Services shares his knowledge on dealing with pet stains using natural products:
“Start with cleaning up as much as you can. Blot, do not rub, the carpet if it is liquid. For hard particles, put on gloves and simply remove them. If the stain is dried out, you should moisten the area. Next, apply a spot cleaning products made for pet stains. To eradicate any unpleаsant odour lurking from the carpet, combine ¼ cup of vinegar with a litre of warm water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray the stain. Leave the vinegar to soak for a couple of minutes and then blot to remove any residue. Finish by vacuuming thoroughly the area.”
Also, pay attention to your doormat if any and thoroughly clean it. It may be placed outside but it is still part of your property and you must take care of it.
Prepare your yard for the upcoming summer vibes
After all the things listed so far, cutting back overgrown trees and hedges may not seem that important. However, this can save you time on fixing damaged power lines or blocked gutters in the future, especially if you’re clever enough to install aluminium like the one from Bespoke Guttering. Plus, your garden will look even better than before. Here is what else you can do to ensure that your residents will spend a wonderful (and perfectly safe) summer in your yard:
- Clean the gutters. Grab a ladder and remove any accumulated leaves, branches, and moss to avoid the headache of dealing with a leaky rooftop once the next rain falls.
- Unclog the drains. Ensure that drains both inside and outside are freed from leaves, hair, and other organic matter. Pay special attention to your kitchen and bathroom sinks.
- Secure your pool. It goes without saying that your pool will see lots of action during the summer. Ensure the safety of your residents by hiring an experienced lifeguard, placing safety signs at visible locations, and checking all gates and locks for signs of rust.
- Program the sprinklers. Save on water expenses and protect your beautiful landscape from the scorching summer heat by setting your irrigation system to “summer mode”.
- Rinse the yard. A great way to refresh your driveway or patio is to use a jet washer. If you have wooden decking, make sure to inspect it for damages first (cracks, rotten areas, etc.) and fix the issues before washing it with water or any cleaning product. In case of damage on your railing or decorations, get a bottle of glue and simply DIY.
Prepare to meet your new tenants
A good first impression is always important, especially if your former tenants left quite a bit of mess behind. Start by going inside each room to assess the situation and ensure that all surfaces (high shelves and the top of door frames included) have received a thorough clean. In case you don’t have the time to do all of this by yourself, you can hire a professional end of tenancy cleaning crew that will bring all required detergents and equipment for the job.
Or, you can roll your sleeves up and follow this checklist and get the job done.
Getting Ready for the Summer as a Tenant
Ensure that the property can handle your new appliances
While it’s your landlord’s responsibility to ensure that everything you find inside the property works flawlessly, you are responsible for everything else that you decide to buy and hook up to the power grid.
To avoid any mishaps, make sure to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions to see just how power-hungry your latest purchase is or simply call a certified electrician. This rule also applies for gas cookers or any other gas appliance you decide to buy.
Report any electrical faults as soon as they happen
We know that it’s hard to pay attention to such things when there’s way more interesting stuff happening outside. However, actively looking for any funny-smelling sockets, damaged cables, or half-torn appliance cords is important if you want your BBQ weekend to end on a positive note. And if you haven’t yet gotten one of your own, weight in your opportunities and choose a charcoal, gas or electrical BBQ to enjoy warm summer evenings to the fullest.
If you find anything that is even remotely suspicious, make sure to notify your landlord asap so that they can call the appropriate specialist and fix your inconvenience then and there.
Take good care of your landlord’s lawn
As we’ve shared above, you can expect from your landlord to deal with any overgrown shrubs or trees that can potentially cause you or your property harm. However, it’s the tenant’s job to maintain the yard’s aesthetics.
Ensuring that the lawn is evenly mowed and weeded, that all decorative bushes are neatly trimmed, and that all plants are frequently watered is one of the first steps towards achieving the perfect landlord-tenant relationship.
Maintain the monoxide alarms
Remember those detectors we mentioned earlier? Unfortunately, maintaining them is also your responsibility. Of course, that doesn’t include fixing them on your own. Just make sure to test them every once in a while and change their batteries once the old ones run out of juice.
Keep your property ventilated at all times
Many properties get quite damp during the summer. Thus, it’s important to establish a good airflow before mould or mildew are given a chance to settle on your walls and windows.
Ensure that your bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom get all the air they need by keeping their doors and windows open whenever possible. Except when you’re away from your property, that is. Here you will find what measures you can take to prevent any mildew or mould growth.
Ensure that your property is burglar-proof
Unfortunately, the temperatures are not the only things that go up during the summer. Inspect all your doors in your rented property and hire an experienced locksmith to replace any rusty or broken locks before going on a lengthy vacation.
You can also ask your landlord to install a security system in case your work requires you to be absent for weeks or months on end.