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Spring has sprung and brings with it the need for spring cleaning. Yes, that is down to the tenants, not you, but they may uncover issues that do require your attention.
Don’t neglect them, as spring is also the time when thoughts turn to moving, if they have any concerns about the properties in which they live.
Is the property due for re-decoration? The better spring light levels will make dingy corners even dingier. Now is a good time to check the garden for safety hazards. Are paths sound and with no trip hazards. Have there been changes to the tenant’s family? Have any children now become toddlers, and therefore in need of a safe and secure garden? Better to fit new gates and fences than risk a child being injured.
Over-grown gardens can cause great anxiety to the neighbours, who fear that weeds will spread into adjoining gardens. Gardens do not require pristine cultivation to be brought into some control. Do your tenants have the means to keep a garden in some order, both to make it more user-friendly for them and to calm neighbour concerns. There is also the issue of safety – over-grown gardens hide dangers – not, in England, from beasts that may attack, but from hidden rocks, barbed wire etc. Make sure it is safe for all.
Are there external buildings? Sheds, or even an unused garden toilet? Make sure they offer no hazards; if there is still a toilet, has it been properly sealed? Consider demolishing it – it gets rid of an unsightly object and gives more useable outdoor space for the tenant.
Ensure any rear entrances and exits are as secure as the front – many people, whilst very security conscience at the front, are lackadaisical (perhaps that is a little northern – careless) about the rear.
Remind your tenants about sensible use of outdoor areas. They should have consideration for neighbours and if this involves social gatherings outside, watch the noise levels and don’t stay outside until the early hours of the morning. Of course, there may be no concerns, if the neighbours have been invited!
Remind tenants that though children will be children, they should play with a degree of care. Neighbours will not be happy if they sit outside and find themselves under attack from footballs and tennis balls. Cars should not be damaged by careless play or by bikes that squeeze past the sides of cars.
Spring is a lovely time of year, but sunshine will make flaws in the property more noticeable; children may feel they have more freedom; enjoy spring, but don’t neglect the everyday duties or that re-enforcing good tenant behaviour is good management practice.
For advice on buy to let issues – Ask Sharon