With heatwaves a frequent occurrence across the UK in 2019, Britain has now experienced the longest heatwave in 42 years. Now that blazing hot summers look likely to continue, along with the thunderstorms that inevitably follow, we analyse some of the potential issues that landlords face due to the hot weather, and how to tackle them.
In addition to being an eyesore, outdoor and indoor bins often smell dreadful during the hot weather. This is not only unpleasant for your tenants, but can also be a problem for the general public and the next door neighbours. You will want to avoid a complaint being made to the local council, as you could be issued a fine for the problem. As a landlord, the law states that you must provide tenants with appropriate facilities to store and dispose of waste.
Reports of insect infestations are also at a peak during the summer months, with ants, flies and wasps proving troublesome for homes across the country. In order to prevent this problem taking hold in your property, encourage your tenants to store household bins away from windows and doors, and consider installing fly screens to windows. Household treatments for ants’ nests can be purchased over the counter to tackle the problem, while specialists should be called to treat infestations of wasps and their nests.
If your rental property has decking, it is guaranteed that this will be well used by your tenants during the warmer weather. However, decking can often become brittle and break during hot temperatures, with some balconies on apartments constructed from wood. It is crucial that these features are maintained in order to ensure that the property remains safe and in a good condition for tenants.
Remind your tenants that they must report these maintenance issues to you immediately after they see them, so you can schedule repairs as soon as possible and prevent the issue becoming any worse. Property management software, such as that produced by inventorybase, can keep your business organised when scheduling inspections, risk assessments and inventory reports.
Air conditioning units, hot tubs and paddling pools may be great ways to keep cool during the hot weather, but if left unattended and unused for a long period of time, they can become the perfect breeding grounds for legionella bacteria. Legionella particularly thrives in hot water, with 37 degrees celsius its optimal temperature, when water can become quickly contaminated with the bacteria.
While legionella is not transmitted between people, usually the bacteria is contracted by inhaling contaminated steam through air conditioning units or soaking in a hot tub, for example. Recent research has also discovered that there are risks of legionella bacteria being spread in water butts. Legionella bacteria can cause deadly illnesses, with the two main diseases caused by exposure to the bacteria being Pontiac Fever and Legionnaires Disease. Less severe, Pontiac Fever is a respiratory illness, while Legionnaires Disease is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia. It is important that your tenants are aware of the bacteria’s potentially deadly impact, and the symptoms to look out for, especially if you have air conditioning units, a hot tub or a water butt installed at your rental property.
Weeds tend to grow at any time of year, but they grow exceptionally fast in hot weather. Even more serious, however, is a recent change to the law, which now means that homeowners are able to sue any neighbour who allows Japanese Knotweed, an extremely problematic weed, to grow on their land.
Rain which follows hot weather can spell trouble for homeowners, as areas with dry and sun-scorched land are liable to flood. Areas which historically do not tend to flood can even be susceptible to flash flooding, so it is crucial that you and your tenants are mindful of this, as well as ensuring that you take out a comprehensive landlord insurance policy to protect your investment.
Start your free trial here today.