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Whether you believe in global warming as the next great threat to the World, or will argue that weather is cyclical and there is nothing to worry about in the abnormal summer we have had, you have to admit that the very wet weather we have experienced this week, compared to the scorching heat of the bank holiday weekend, means summer jobs are having to be delayed and work schedules amended accordingly.
As it appears that this type of weather is likely in the future, perhaps you need to be prepared to ensure that contingency funds will allow work to be done at any time; ie we would usually think the summer months are best for outside painting, but as good weather cannot be guaranteed, be ready to do it if we get a prolonged spell of good weather in April or May, or September or October.
One good thing about wet weather is that it will make apparent any faults in the guttering or roofing. I noticed a continual stream of water from an over-flowing gutter. As we are likely to get some warmer weather again before winter sets in, this is something that can be remedied fairly easily, before the bad weather sets in and makes it dangerous (and very unpleasant) to do.
Tenants will not always realise that they should advise you, so do an inspection. If it is dry when you inspect, check for signs that there may be a problem, for example, a green mark on the wall under the gutter; is there any sign of growth or blockage in the gutters? Such small things can eventually lead to deterioration in the property and no landlord wants that.
The mixed weather, of being very warm and then warm with drenching rain has made it ideal environment for growth of gardens. Over-grown gardens hide dangerous changes in garden level and a trip which causes injury can lead to a court case.
Where gardens look messy, passers-by are more tempted to toss drink cans and rubbish into them and this detracts from even the nicest area; if the neighbours are very garden-proud, you as the landlord of a property with a messy garden are likely to get complaints.
Discuss the garden with any prospective tenants before they have signed the tenancy agreement. Are they thrilled and excited, never having had a garden before? Do they understand the work that is required to keep it neat? Do they have tools, or will you lend them some?
By the time the better weather has arrived, you should have some idea of what their idea of gardening is. Not everyone wants a perfect, flower-filled paradise, but it is not unreasonable that you should expect whatever is there is kept neat and not a cause of grief to the Alan Titchmarsh enthusiast next door.
Bad weather summers need not necessarily be bad news. It allows time for assessment of issues which may be invisible if there is a period of dryness and which are better addressed in the warmer months. So, plan work schedules and be ready to take advantage of whatever the weather sends and whenever it allows you to do necessary remedial work.
For advice on buy to let issues – Ask Sharon