Your long-term tenants, the ones that have clocked-up 3 years and over in a property, say, are often your best ones. They’re probably punctual with their monthly rent payments, rarely making complaints to you or the lettings agency, respectfully keeping themselves to themselves.
But it’s important not to end up accidentally neglecting these very tenants.
Paradoxically, long-term tenants can require extra attention once they're few years into their tenancy, passing that threshold of time where things can start to go wrong with a property through regularly, everyday wear and tear.
It’s worth considering the below points and deal with instances of fair wear and tear that may lower a tenant's living conditions quickly. It will help to keep your reliable, long-term tenants happy.
A property’s plumbing is one of the biggest things that you can have issues with wear and tear as time takes its toll.
The tightness of seals around taps on sinks and baths can loosen and begin to leak, while limescale build-up around the tap nozzles, both visible and further in can alter the flow of water causing splashback onto the basin's flat surfaces.
The chrome on bathrooms taps, showers and other fixtures can also begin to fade as well.
At this point it may well be worth investing in new fittings to improve the look of the property and the efficiency of the taps.
Another plumbing issue that can rear its head over time is the blocking of drains. The bathroom waste water pipe deals with daily barrage of soapy, dirty water, the build-up of congealed soap scum and hair can restrict water flow and even cause a total blockage.
Also, outside the property there's things to keep an eye on, like growing vegetation and tree roots. It's been known for eager tree roots to press-up on the external waste water pipe, crushing it and restricting the water flow and resulting in a blockage and the bath and sink unable to empty properly, if at all.
In terms of blockages, whatever the cause, tenants may notice when taking baths, showers or using the sink that water is taking longer to empty. That’s a tell-tale sign of a developing blockage.
It’s well worth asking tenants either directly or through a physical checklist if they’re noticing any of the things mentioned above – this way you can nip it in the bud and deal with it in good time.
Even well-looked after carpets that are regularly vacuumed and cleaned with dedicated carpet cleaners can slowly lose fabric volume and vibrancy.
In particular, thinner carpets are susceptible to footfall and wear quicker, especially in rooms that have a lot of traffic and footfall and in smaller flats where there aren’t many routes you can take to walk around.
After a 3 years and beyond, a short carpet in a small one-bedroom flat where the living room holds the kitchen area - thus this doing the job of two rooms - is guaranteed to be showing wear and flatness from heavy footfall when compared to how it looked when newly installed.
As landlord, it's worth looking into if any carpets where footfall is highest need replacing. Sure, it can be a pain to do this while furniture is in situ and finding a right time to do it can be pronlematic, but it’s a great gesture to the current tenant. And, it also means it’s will be ready for the next tenant.
In most cases a tenant is typically responsible for the general maintenance of the front and back garden such as mowing the lawns, ensuring there’s no build-up of refuge bags and its not being used as a dumping ground, generally keeping things tidy.
However, things such as large trees or bushes around the perimeter or at the foot of the garden can become overgrown, blocking out precious sunlight, satellite TV signals or have the potential becoming hazards - this will need to be dealt with by professionals.
It’s definitely worth checking the general lay of the land when it comes to maintaining the harder parts of a garden’s natural vegetation. Overgrown trees can become a problem remarkably quickly and cab be a major concern for tenants and their neighbours alike for reducing quality of life.