Tenant? Now that summer is finally here, many of us are keen to enjoy all of the wonderful things that the sunniest season can bring. From day trips to parks and beaches, through to garden gatherings, or even just relaxing outside with a good book and a cold drink, there certainly is plenty to look forward to in the days and weeks ahead. For those who are renting their home, meanwhile, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind over the summer period, which can help keep you and your landlord happy.
Summertime Means Getting Outside
When the weather is good, nothing beats the great outdoors, and for those lucky enough to have outside space, you don’t need to venture far to get the benefits. Being outside brings a host of well-documented health benefits, but take a moment to consider your rental agreement first.
Your landlord will be likely to expect that the garden area is kept tidy, and this includes regular lawn care such as mowing, as well as tending to any borders and established shrubbery. However, with a growing awareness of environmental issues, you may be hoping to transform the manicured lawns into a wilder habitat that is more friendly to our endangered bees and insects.
If this is the case, be sure to get your landlord’s approval before letting nature take over, and remember that you may well be asked to return the garden to its tidier state at the end of your tenancy. Likewise, if you want to try your hand at gardening, check with your landlord before planting anything. It may be a good idea to use moveable pots and planters, which you can then take with you to your next home.
If you have children, it’s also likely that they will be keen to play outside during the warmer months, and these days the popularity of garden equipment such as large trampolines, football goals, and paddling pools are making staying at home more fun than ever. However, whilst the majority of landlords will be more than happy to let you install such play items for your children’s benefit, it’s important that you ask them beforehand.
Those big trampolines and paddling pools can cause the grass underneath to die, leading to unsightly patches in the lawn when the equipment is removed, whilst vigorous games of football could also damage the turf or delicate plants nearby. If there is a decking or patio area available, choose this as the best spot for your paddling pool instead, and place a tarpaulin underneath for safety.
Be Smart About Socialising
The summer season also brings its fair share of big sporting events and other reasons to get together with friends and family. With coronavirus restrictions easing around the country, it’s only natural to want to host a gathering or two at home, and of course landlords know and understand this. For your part, double check with your landlord before getting a barbecue or this year’s must-have fire pit for the garden, especially if the outside space is a communal garden shared with other neighbours., or if you live in a flat with a balcony area. There may be agreements in place that will preclude using such equipment, or safety concerns to be aware of.
Be mindful too of keeping your neighbours happy if you plan to have any parties this summer. Noise travels, especially when doors and windows are thrown open on a summer evening, and your landlord won’t be pleased if they have to field complaints from people living next door to you. Remember to take the party indoors by 11pm at night, and keep music and voices to a respectful volume. After all, if the neighbours have no complaints, your tenancy should be able to continue happily for as long as you want it to.
TLC For Your Home
Summer also makes the ideal time to check over the property and make a note of any issues, such as any wear and tear that may have developed over the punishing winter months. Many landlords and letting agencies now use online property management software tools such as Inventorybase, which allow you to live stream images of the property so that any problems can be assessed quickly and conveniently for everyone. And by getting any damage sorted out in the summertime, it can be taken care of before the harsh winter weather returns to make it worse.
For tenant’s, there are other steps you can take to help protect your home during the summer. Simply hanging your washing outside to dry can help keep dampness at bay, and regularly opening windows for ventilation will boost your health too. This is especially important after bathing or showering, which tend to take place more frequently during hot spells.
Don’t Forget Security
If you’re lucky enough to be taking a trip this summer, remember to take security precautions. Burglars are known to target vacant homes, so think about using timed light switches and other devices to fool them into thinking someone is there. Make sure any security lights are working, and take advantage of alarms or systems that are in place to protect your home. Finally, don’t forget to double-check that all doors and windows are closed and locked before you head off on your holidays, and keep keys out of sight.
Interim inspections are also a great time to inform your property manager or landlord of any issues or potential repairs. Remember, if they aren’t made aware – they can’t fix it!
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