26 April 2017
Spring has sprung, so it makes sense to make sure the boilers in your rentals are serviced and checked, before the winter weather sets in again. Many landlords schedule their annual gas safety checks to take place around about now. If, as a landlord, you are planning on replacing a boiler – now is the time to do it. Plumbers generally have more time in the spring/summer months, as emergency call outs are less common, so you should be able to get a fair price.
It is always a good idea to provide your tenant with an emergency contact sheet, with an up to date list of emergency contacts. For example, the National Gas Service Emergency line (0800 111 999) in case your tenants smell gas or suspect a leak.
* Electrics: Make sure any current electrical are in safe conditions. Check for any defects such as wire fraying, cracked or chipped casings, charring and burn marks. If your property is located in England or Wales, you can organise an Electrical Installation Condition Report, to identify any problems that may need to be fixed. If your property is in Scotland, periodic inspection and testing for electrical safety are required at least every 5 years, and at least 3 for a House of Multiple Occupation.
* Gas: Annual gas safety checks are to be carried out by a Gas Safety engineer, this can be arranged through your agent too. If you are using your agent to arrange the test, make sure they provide you with a copy of the gas safety inspection report. If you are having a new gas appliance fitted, make sure it is installed by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You may also want to consider installing a carbon monoxide alarm as a matter of best practise. If your property is in Scotland, make sure you do as it is now a legal obligation.
* Fire: It is considered best practise to carry out a fire risk assessment in your properties. If you own a House of Multiple Occupation, it is a legal obligation. HMO landlords, or their managing agents, should carry out regular fire alarm tests.
Minor Repairs and up keep in April
Examine walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture and repair as required. Your check list should include the following;
* Damaged steps. That could present a safety problem.
* Make sure both internal and external handrails are secure
* Condensation and mould should be removed with fungicidal treatment
* Work out where ventilation can be improved
* Consider using anti mould decorative paint in areas prone to damp
* Consider installing extractor fans in bathrooms
* Consider a new ventilation system