As Autumn and Winter draws in, landlords, with the help of their letting agents, will take stock of their “to do list “ for the Autumn. The weather will change, the temperatures drop and tenants expectations are that they will have a nice, warm home to live in over the colder months.
Taking into consideration how drastically the weather can change, property managers will be ensuring that the properties they manage are “weather ready”. The following is a useful “to do list”.
1. THE BOILER - HEATING SUPPLY & HOT WATER
This time of year and right the way through to March and April, one of the most common concerns is heating and hot water. If the boiler has not yet been serviced, now is the ideal time diarise those appointments for Gas Safe Engineers. Whilst S11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 makes reference to the supply of heating/heating space and water, it is important to remind tenants that contractors are extremely busy this time of year, and this reactive approach can save a lot of issues. Remind them that access is important and Covid protocols will be adhered to.
2. CONDENSATION OR DAMP?
The definition - Condensation is the process by which water vapour in the air is changed into liquid water, in short, a gas known as “water vapour,” For example, the water from a hot shower cools when it meet the surface of the cold mirror. This causes the water vapour to condense, or turn into its liquid form as beads of water and fog formed on the mirror.
But condensation can be reduced and minimised which as a result has a positive impact on the property. Guidance provided to tenants in the form of a leaflet can provide some excellent information on how condensation differs to damp.
• Cooking with pan lids on and turning the heat down once the water has boiled, will greatly reduce condensation.
• Avoid drying laundry on radiators and where possible, dry washing outdoors
• When using a tumble dryer, make sure it is vented to the outside (DIY kits are available for this) or is a condenser dryer.
• Extractor fans should be used when cooking or taking a shower / a bath
• Always ventilate after taking a shower / a bath
• Always ventilate when cooking
• Wipe down surfaces regularly
3. LEAVES AND GUTTERS
The way in which leaves change in colour from green to browns and reds always amazes us, yet when leaves start fall there is a concern about their impact on a property. Fallen leaves block up drains and gutters, and build up on pathways. Whilst a tenant should not be required to climb up on a ladder to clear gutters, it is extremely important that tenants recognise their liability for ensuring that leaves are removed from pathways and drains, and that the landlord is advised as soon as there is an issue relating to downpipes and gutters being blocked.
4. PATHS AND ACCESS.
Not that October brings a frost, however, rain always makes pathways slippery especially when covered in leaves. Block management companies will often ensure that leaves are removed from common areas outside apartment blocks, yet paths, paved areas and decking will be the tenants’ responsibility to keep free of debris.
REMEMBER TO CHECK ON THE VULNERABLE.
Even though it is 19 months since the pandemic took hold, it is extremely important to consider how the vulnerable will tackle the autumn and winter months. Think carefully about how you and your team can assist those who may need additional help as temperatures start to drop.
Our Property Management team can assist with all matters relating to property maintenance and repair through our Essential or Ultimate Tenancy Management - For further details contact - 01279 600567