As I write this, we’re in the middle of potential record-breaking temperatures in the UK.
And London and the South East is experiencing the best of it.
The summer can be a testing time for landlords.
There are a whole host of things you should do to protect your property and tenants during the warmer months.
But what about you?
We’re now deep into July and being a landlord is hard work.
You deserve a holiday. But do you actually feel like you can take one?
Relaxing by the pool with something cold and fizzy can be difficult if you’re worried about your rental property back here in the UK.
Worse, you’re just taking that first sip of the first cocktail of your holiday and the phone rings. It’s your tenant reporting that there is no hot water, so you spend the next few hours trying to arrange a plumber to pop round at short notice.
Good luck with that! And even if you do find someone, it will more than likely cost you close to what you paid to go on holiday in a bid to relax and recharge.
So what can you do?
Put a plan in place before you leave
Ideally you need someone who could replace you while you enjoy a break.
Someone who could be on the end of the phone should your tenants require any help.
But you can save that person the same hassle you’re trying to avoid by making sure any big jobs are done before you jet off for your holiday.
Make sure inventories are done and, if you have tenancies renewing, ensure all the paperwork and signatures are inked before you leave.
Whether you own multiple buy-to-lets or just a single property, arrange to undertake an inspection before you leave.
This will help to flag up any potential problems while your feet are still firmly planted in the UK.
If any maintenance or repairs are needed, try to get arrangements made with tradespeople before your holiday and make sure your tenants are satisfied that everything is in order.
The devil is in the detail
The more preparation you do before you go away, the less likely you are to be bothered by problems when you arrive.
Provide keys to the person who is looking after the property while you’re away and make sure they have contact details for your tenants.
It can also pay to leave behind some cash for any unexpected emergencies, as well as providing contact details for trusted tradespeople you use.
If you can, show whoever is minding your property or properties how to enter and where key emergency switches are like the fuse box and stop-cock.
Finally, and you won’t really want to do this, make sure whoever is stepping into your shoes can contact you if they absolutely need to.
Tell your tenants you are away
You’d expect your tenants to let you know if they are leaving the country so you could keep an eye on your property.
So, make sure you do the same in return.
And ensure your tenants know who to contact if they need to.
When checking the property before you leave, make sure you remind your tenants where shut-off valves like the water stop-cock are and remind them about security during the summer.
The best way to ensure complete peace of mind while you enjoy a well-earned break is to use a lettings agent property management service.
A full management service should include rent collection and emergency maintenance through the agent’s trusted, approved list of tradespeople – all things that can play on the mind when you should be relaxing.
Unfortunately, as a landlord, flying off on a spontaneous trip abroad is not really possible – it comes with the job description.
If you’re looking for a managing agent to take the strain of your property investments, have a chat with one of the team at Martin & Co Chelmsford, who will be happy to outline our full management service.