Spring has sprung: What's on your landlord list?

We possibly shouldn’t say this too loudly in case it all goes pear-shaped again, but it looks like spring has officially sprung!

With the property market starting to feel less sluggish, and the weather warming up, is there anything you should be doing to prepare your property, before you relax in the sun?

Tackle wintery jobs now

Trying to convince your tenants to let you attack an overhaul of the heating system when it’s chilly is never going to be an easy task. However, carrying out a MOT of your radiators whilst it is warm could save you a huge headache in the winter months.

Whilst fans may be appearing on the shelves and you may be wondering whether fitting air conditioning in your home would be considered an extravagance, the thought of cranking up a boiler probably fills you with dread.

However, when the evenings get chilly and your tenants power up their radiators you may be glad that you took the opportunity to give them the once over. After all, if there’s anything that needs further attention, your tenants will be glad that you’re dealing with it when they’re not reliant on the heating, rather that leaving them shivering when the temperature drops!

Bleeding radiators removes any air bubbles from the system, and allows them to get up to temperature quickly and evenly. It’s a simple process, and other than a quick blast of full-on heating at the start of the proceedings, you shouldn’t have to suffer too much in the heat – honestly!

You’ll need: A few old towels, radiator key

  1. Turn the heating on – make sure that all the radiators are on and the heating is at full power.
  2. Check which parts of the radiators are warming up (you may need a towel for this) - Cover your hand in the towel and run it carefully over all the radiators. If a radiator is working at full capacity if should be equally hot all over, if there’s trapped air, it will be different temperatures in different areas
  3. Switch off the central heating – you need to be able to handle the radiators, so they can’t be burning hot!
  4. Allow everything to cool down sufficiently
  5. When cool, lay an old towel under the valve at the side of the radiator
  6. Insert the key into the square groove in the centre of the valve
  7. Wrap another old towel under the valve, ready to catch any drips
  8. Turn the key anti-clockwise. If your radiator has air inside you should hear gas hissing
  9. Once the gas has all escaped, liquid will come out, so you must be ready to close the valve quickly (turning the key clockwise). Your old towels should help catch this excess.
  10. Once you have bled all of your radiators, make sure the pressure on your boiler is at the correct level.
  11. Every boiler is different, but the manual should give a guide as to the optimum pressure for your make.
  12. If the pressure has dropped below where it should be, you can ‘top up’ by using the tap on your boiler – this is called the filing loop. Turn the tap until the arrow on your boilers display points at the optimum number.
  13. Turn the heating on to run a test on your radiators – check for any cool spots and if they all heat evenly you have solved the problem

Spring clean your drains

Whilst the sun is shining, what nicer time to spend a while pottering in the garden? Whilst you may request your tenants loo after the basic upkeep of the property’s outside space, there are some gardening basics that certainly have an impact on your responsibility as a landlord.

You have a duty to take care of the basic structure of the property, and this includes the guttering and drainage. If you have overhanging trees, or bushes around the property, these can very easily become clogged and blocked, leading to all sorts of potential problems.

Whilst the weather is nice, why not take the opportunity to give all areas a good spring clean – including the guttering and drainage. It can be tempting to ignore this problem until it becomes an issue, but it’s far simpler to do a quick check for blockages now and remove any moss or dry leaves that could cause problem, before everything becomes clogged and soggy. It’s not much fun balancing on a ladder in the driving rain and wind, trying to scoop out mulched-up leaves in order to prevent a flood – much better to carry out a bit of preventative, proactive maintenance in appealing weather!

Perfect your paintwork

Whilst you’re outside and up a ladder, you could use the opportunity to tackle any painting touch ups that need addressing.

If you are working on any wooded structures, the paint will bond better to the material if it is dry, which will give you a more long-lasting, durable finish.So, if you’ve been eyeing up that peeling front door or window frames for a while, there’s no excuse now – even the weather is on your side!

Evict unwanted pests

Everyone has been to a picnic or pub garden and heard the dreaded bzzzz of a wasp flying around… if your tenant has concerns that there may be a nest in the garden of your property it is a good idea to investigate the situation as quickly as you can.

Before you do anything, make sure you correctly identify the type of next you are dealing with. Your garden could be playing hosts to a number of different critters, from bumble bees to hornets, and depending on the type of bug depends on the type of treatment. A full guide of the various varieties is available here


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