Spring has sprung so it’s time to give your rental property a seasonal spring cleaning makeover, say the experts at Belvoir
Ready to rent
Traditionally a time for new beginnings Spring is a popular choice for movers looking to find their next home so make sure your rental property is viewing and move in ready…
“It’s important to create a welcoming space and present a home that prospective tenants will feel they will enjoy living in,” says co-owner of Belvoir Melton Mowbray and Belvoir Bingham Charlotte Baker.
“Make sure any small jobs or minor fixes have been completed, such as securing loose door handles, painting marked walls or repairing chipped paintwork. Even the most minor jobs that are left unresolved can make a property look and feel neglected.
“Create a light, bright and airy space by drawing back curtains or blinds and perhaps opening the windows briefly to disperse any stagnant air and make the property smell and feel fresh,” she continues. “This is particularly beneficial if the property has been empty or air has been unable to circulate over the winter months.
“Also, even though spring has arrived, it can still be cold at times so make sure the heating is in working order and perhaps put it on a low setting so that the property doesn’t feel cold or damp.”
Of course, the property should be neat, tidy, clean and clutter-free too.
“Prospective tenants will want to feel that a property is cared about, clean and move in ready,” says Charlotte. “Windows, doors, skirting boards and paintwork should be clean and dirt-free, as should carpets, fixtures, fittings, bathrooms, kitchens and appliances. If an outgoing tenant has recently vacated the property then they should have left it clean and tidy as per the terms of their Tenancy Agreement.”
Wave goodbye to winter
Even if your property is currently occupied it’s still important to assess its maintenance needs in order to ensure that the long winter months haven’t caused lasting damage.
Deterioration caused by the cold spell can soon escalate if not resolved at speed so arrange an inspection in order to review, renew and repair.
“Spring is the perfect time to give your rental property a full MOT and maintenance makeover,” says owner of Belvoir Portsmouth and Belvoir Waterlooville Samantha Bateman.
“Many jobs will have mounted up over the long winter months, plus it’s essential to check for damage and deterioration which may have been caused by the wind, rain, snow, frost or cold weather.
“Be mindful that mould growth can accelerate during the damp season, exterior pointing can deteriorate in the winter frosts, and woodwork can become susceptible to peeling paint and rot. If outdoor woodwork, such as doors, doorframes or windows, needs re-painting or re-varnishing spring is a great time to do this.
“Assessing guttering, downpipes and drains is also important,” she continues. “Over the winter months moss and debris can gather preventing adequate drainage and potentially causing on-going water damage to the fabric of the building during any spring showers.
“Observe the roof too. High winds and storms can dislodge, loosen or break tiles and crack chimney pots. It’s vital to ensure all tiles are secure and chimneys are structurally safe and undamaged in order to protect your property and the safety of your tenant.
“In addition, look out for signs of unwanted pests, such as rodents, which may have moved indoors during the cold winter months, plus watch out for wood beetle activity which can cause extensive damage to your timbers if left untreated.”
“It’s also important to head outdoors to assess any essential needs,” adds Charlotte.
“If you’re in the process of remarketing make sure your property has got kerb appeal,” she says. “Front gardens should be neat and tidy so your property looks appealing as prospective tenants approach.
“Leaves and winter debris should be swept away, gravel should be refreshed and paths should be weed-free and welcoming.”
Spring is also the time to refresh other outdoor spaces, such as back gardens, courtyards or patios.
“Cut back any unwanted growth on bushes and shrubs to prepare for the new spring growth,” advises Charlotte. “Large trees should also be trimmed to prevent potential damage to the garden and property.
“Again, decaying leaf-matter should be removed and swept away to create clean neat spaces where tenants can imagine themselves enjoying the great outdoors during the summer months.”
Bear in mind too that as the sun makes an appearance so will the weeds and prevention is often easier to execute than trying to cure the problem later.
“Weeds can make the nicest of outdoor spaces look unloved so preventative measures are advisable,” says Charlotte. “Topical weedkillers can be useful, as can packing borders tightly with bedding plants to limit the space in which weeds can grow.
“Also think about those other destructive garden pests, such as ivy,” she continues. “Ivy can grow and spread at speed, suffocating other plants and potentially causing damage to the property, including penetrating walls and blocking guttering and drains. Look out for Japanese Knotweed too – it is essential to deal with this immediately.”
In addition, ensure all boundary walls and fences are safe and secure to avoid further deterioration or potential hazards for your tenants.
“As a landlord you need to make sure that you are aware of which boundaries are your responsibility,” says Charlotte.
“If any of yours need repairing or securing it’s better to do it now than wait for further deterioration or a hazard to occur. This is particularly pertinent in spring following the windy and rainy season when rot may have affected the structural security or wind damage may have occurred. Likewise, if you notice a problem with a boundary belonging to a neighbouring property it is advisable to make sure that the owner is aware of it.
“It’s also advisable to think about other outdoor wooden constructions which may have been affected by rot during the long winter months,” she continues. “Decking, for example, should be checked to make sure it is still safe and secure, and panels or boards replaced as necessary.
“Furthermore, it’s also a good idea to re-treat wood, including decking, fence panels and posts, to help lengthen their lifespan.
“If the property is currently occupied, it’s useful to talk to your tenant about what your expectations are of them and what they should be doing in the garden to help ensure it’s maintained.”
Say hello to summer…
As part of your annual spring clean it’s also important to start planning ahead so start creating your summer schedule now…
“Talk to your tenant to find out their future plans,” advises Samantha. “If they are planning to move on this will allow time to remarket the property and find a new tenant.
“If they are planning to stay on at the property but have booked an extended summer break this may be a great opportunity for you to schedule in summer maintenance,” she continues.
“Large indoor maintenance tasks will be easier to execute if the property is vacant and unlimited access is available. It will also minimise disruption for your tenant. This is particularly pertinent for long-term tenancies where the opportunity to do jobs between outgoing and incoming tenants is reduced.
“Maintenance tasks to consider at this time include internal redecoration and painting, carrying out damp treatment, re-laying flooring, updating bathrooms and kitchens, plus any major garden maintenance, such as the pruning of large trees or repairs to decking.
“Assessing your property’s needs – and updating, modernising and maintaining as necessary – will help protect, not only the property itself, but also your tenant and long-term profit potential.”
Article Courtesy of: Belvoir