For many letting agents and landlords in Aberystwyth, the summer is a very busy time. The start of June heralds the end of the academic year at the University, which means the end of many tenancy agreements, and the start of many more! You’ll probably have seen the letting agent cars whizzing from street to street over June and July, as well as cleaners and contractors.
Just what does the summer changeover entail? For us at Redfern, it’s inspections, cleaning, maintenance and inventories.
We always offer “pre-moveout” inspections to our tenants, where we spend some time going around the house with them and offering them advice on what they need to clean or clear before the leave. In an ideal situation, a property is returned to us as it was handed over, give and take reasonable wear and tear of course. We’ve found that this approach is really useful for us and our tenants, and keeps the conversations open and friendly too. Everyone has heard of deposits being held back for no reasons, and we’re happy to help get dispel that myth!
Once the tenancy is at an end, we visit the house for an inspection and compare this to the original inventory which was provided at the start of the tenancy agreement. We look at the cleanliness and condition of the house and if we’re happy with it, we’ll be able to release the deposits.
Now here at Redfern Property, we always expect a small bit of cleaning to polish the house back to its original standard, and this is something we would never expect our tenants to pay for!
Now that the property is empty it’s time to get in there and do those maintenance tasks – essential and ‘non-essential’. For the majority of student properties in Aberystwyth, the tenancy agreements will be 51 weeks long, so this really is the chance to make the most of the property being empty.
What do you need to be thinking about during this empty period?
- Painting – when was this last done, does it need doing again? And remember, a house presented with a high standard will usually be looked after better
- Do the carpets need a professional clean (or replacing!)
- Furniture wise, is it all in good, safe condition?
- Do all of the windows work as expected?
- Are all of the locks working for each room?
- Are the appliances PAT tested – it’s usually during this week that the tests are done, so get them booked in
- Annual checks on the electricity and boilers should be done during this week too
Back in May we talked about raising the standard of your property, and while the bullet points above are all general things we’d look at every year, now is also a great time for those larger maintenance jobs! It’s surprising how fast the years fly by, but by keeping on top of your student let in terms of maintenance year on year, you can ensure it is rented without fail.
So, now is a good time to take a proper look at these key areas – your kitchen and your bathroom(s). Our experience of the student market has shown us that these are the really important rooms when it comes to creating fast, impressive first impressions. They’re also the rooms that will really let you down if they’re very much out of date, and boy can they go quickly out of date.
Other maintenance tasks that are great for this time of year and while the house is empty include any repointing that needs doing, external works like fixing any walls, replacing radiators for more efficient models and cutting back that garden so it’s more manageable.
Our final task before handing over the keys to a property is the all important inventory. We’ve written a blog piece about this on our website in July, outlining what the purpose of an inventory is, but it in a nutshell it is there to protect both tenants and landlords – a clear document outlining the condition of the property at the start of a tenancy. Ours also include meter readings, clear photos of smoke alarms and detailed photos of each room. Remember they’re there not just for the landlords, but for tenants piece of mind too.
All in all, the summer is a very busy time for letting agents, contractors and cleaners! We’re looking forward to welcoming back our students for the next academic year, and relaxing a little before the viewing season starts!