With temperatures soaring during a longer, hotter summer than most of us can remember, there’s one simple but essential piece of advice landlords need pass on to tenants.
UK landlords are old hands at dealing with property maintenance issues during our predictably cold and damp British winters. Boiler services, damp-proofing, roof repairs – the list goes on. They’re all familiar tasks on landlords’ to-do lists when the temperature drops.
Summer weather, on the other hand, tends to trigger fewer property issues – but there’s one important one to watch out for.
With high temperatures encouraging all of us, including tenants, to keep our windows and doors open, landlords are warned not to leave the security and maintenance of their rented properties low on their priority list.
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Open doors and windows lead to opportunistic burglaries
It’s understandable that tenants, like everyone else, want to let the breeze blow through their homes during the hot days and balmy nights. But going out and leaving open windows and doors unattended is the perfect situation for opportunistic burglars.
James Davis, founder of the online letting agency, Upad, explains:
“An open door or window provides a burglar with easy access to a property – indeed as many as 2 in 10 burglaries involve no forced entry at all.”
Of course, as the occupier, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to make sure the property is secured. But avoiding being burgled may rank lower down in their thoughts than keeping cool when the temperatures are so high.
Furnished or unfurnished, it’ll more than likely be the tenant’s property that’s stolen in the event of a burglary at a rental property. But it’s still something for landlords to keep on their radar.
If a tenant is burgled, the trauma may put them off renewing their lease. So what was the tenant’s problem becomes the landlord’s problem, with a possible gap in rental income to cover.
How can landlords support their tenants during hot weather?
These simple recommendations from Upad are designed to help landlords secure their let property and their rental income:
- Remind your tenants of their security obligations as laid out in the lease
- Keep in regular contact with your tenants and encourage them to let you know about any long holidays they’re planning, or other reasons they may be away over the summer
- Put any necessary security checks in place for when your tenants are going to be away for a while
- Upgrade window locks so that tenants can still secure their windows even when they’re slightly open
- Secure any sheds or outbuildings where tools and equipment are kept that could be used to break in to the property
Hosepipe ban consequences for landlords
While security is the most important consideration for landlords during this long hot summer, there’s another factor to consider – hosepipe bans can wreak havoc with the state of gardens.
If you have a garden maintenance plan in place, check whether you’ll need to update it if a ban does come into effect. It’s also worth having a chat with your tenants about the best way to keep your borders and beds in order when it’s hot outside and water is scarce.
Your advice might include:
- Watering plants in the evening rather than when the sun’s at its hottest, to give the plants time to soak up the water during the night, before it heats up again the next day
- Placing moveable pots and planters in shaded spots for the hottest part of the day, to stop the plants drying out and turning yellow
- Watering the base of the plant rather than pouring water over the flowers or leaves, to help direct the water to where the plant needs it most