Autumn is here and now is the time for landlords to be thinking about making their properties ready for winter.
If you are about to start letting – or you are between tenants – find time in your busy schedule to make essential checks.
Consider your rental home as you would a property you are about to sell: it needs to look attractive when you market it and appealing to prospective tenants when they look round….
*Check the roof, make sure there are no missing or damaged tiles and make sure the chimney stack looks safe enough to endure windy weather
*While you are up there, inspect and clear the gutters; check all downpipes
*Check all trees and shrubs to see if they need cutting back; rake and remove dead leaves and other garden debris, and consider giving the lawn one last trim
*Clear, sweep and clean paths, patios, terraces and areas of decking
*Clean and put away all garden furniture and cover everything that cannot be stored away in the dry
*Check exterior lighting is working properly
*Make sure fencing is stable and ready to withstand high winds
*Complete any exterior decorating before the temperature drops and the frost arrives
*Ensure any outside pipes and taps are insulated well enough to prevent freezing
*Ensure all windows and doors are leak and draught-proof; make sure windows locks are working and have keys
*Check the central heating system and that all radiators are functioning properly; ensure pipes in the loft are adequately lagged
*If there isn’t one, buy a programmable thermostat
*If there is an open fire or a wood-burner, get it swept and checked for blockages by a professional
*Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices – and test them to make sure they are functioning properly
*Consider redecorating or touching up any internal paintwork