The heatwave is here and many parts of the country have been experiencing very high temperatures. While the warm weather will be welcome for many, there are also things that landlords should consider when the mercury rises.
Here, we take a look at some of the problems that landlords could find themselves facing because of the very hot weather, and crucially what can be done about them.
Check up on vulnerable tenants.
The charity Age UK is reminding people in the heatwave to check up on elderly neighbours who may live alone, and could be having difficulties in the heat. If you have elderly tenants, it could be a good idea to check up on them.
Worried about wasps? Bothered by bees?
Calls to report insect infestations peak during the long hot days of summer. If you or your tenants become aware of such an issue, its best to sort it out as soon as possible before it gets worse.
The question of who is responsible for dealing with infestations in privately rented housing depends in part on:
- Whether there is anything relevant in the tenancy agreement:The tenancy agreement may set out details on who is responsible for dealing with any infestation or may make the landlord responsible for keeping the premises in good condition and fit to live in, which could mean they have to deal with infestations.
- Whether the property was already infested when the tenant moved in: If the property is already infested when the tenant moves in, it is likely that the landlord will be responsible for dealing with it. In regard to furnished properties, landlords have a contractual duty (implied by common law) to ensure that at the start of the letting there is “nothing so noxious as to render it uninhabitable”.
- Whether the infestation may have resulted from some act of the tenant. The tenant may be responsible for dealing with the problem if the infestation was caused by something the tenant has done or failed to do; eg, not dealing properly with rubbish, not cleaning the property adequately, leaving food around or keeping pets which have fleas.
- Whether the property was in disrepair: Infestations may be the result of, or made worse by structural defects or disrepair, such as holes in external walls. Unless the disrepair has been caused by the tenant, it will usually fall to the landlord to carry out the repair and deal with the infestation.
To learn about how to deal with ants, wasps, bees and other common household pests, check this out.
Speaking of the great outdoors..
Whether you have a garden, a yard or a balcony, it is important you check that it is safe to use for your tenants. Read our top tips on maintaining gardens here.
Remember if you need to purchase any garden tools, or perhaps something else for your property-we can help. RLA members can benefit from our FREE Tradepoint discount card. Get discounts on a whole range of B & Q products. Click here to read more.
Decking could become brittle
There’s nothing quite like making the most of the warm weather by relaxing on the decking with a nice drink. However, did you know that the recent hot weather we’ve been getting can cause decking to become brittle and even break?
Some apartment balconies are also made of wood, and so also need to be maintained for the same reasons as well, as you don’t want tenants to have accidents. It is advisable to remind your tenants to report such issues to you as soon as they notice them so that you can repair any problems sooner rather than later, to help stop the problem getting worse.
Rain following the hot weather
The Met Office has predicted heavy cloud bursts and thunderstorms for the later part of the week, and such weather could cause places with baked ground to flood. Areas that don’t normally flood could also be affected, so this is something to be mindful of. For more information on insurance for your rental properties ,contact RLA insurance on 0333 000 0169. You can also click here for a quote. You can also have a read of our recent How to article on how to protect your home from water damage here.