Jargon Buster - A-Z of Buy to Let for landlords (K&L)

Posted 30/07/2021 by Reeds Rains
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Through 2021, we’re taking you through the alphabet of property-related terms, explaining what they are and how they’re relevant to you, as a landlord. This month:

 

‘Kerb appeal’

This term refers to how attractive your property looks from the street – does it create a good first impression from the outside? While it’s most often used in relation to selling properties, the first impression just as important when it comes to letting. If you want to attract the best tenants and get the highest possible market rent, you’ve got to offer a property that is obviously well cared-for.

Ensuring the property has ‘kerb appeal’ can also help maintain a good relationship with your neighbours. A common complaint about rented properties, particularly Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), is that they can have a negative impact on the overall look and ‘value’ of the immediate area. So, make sure you have a good maintenance schedule for the property and, importantly, that there are an appropriate number of waste and recycling bins for the number of occupants.

 

Legionella

Legionella is a bacteria that can form in water where the temperature is between 20 and 45 degrees celsius and sludge, scale and/or rust are present. If contaminated water droplets are inhaled, it can cause Legionnaire’s disease, a potentially deadly form of pneumonia.

Since 2001, it has been a legal requirement for landlords to ensure their properties are free from legionella. In most rented homes that are occupied, the risk is very low, as the hot and cold water are generally used regularly, which keeps the supply moving. If your property has a combination boiler and electric showers, the risk is further lowered because water is not being stored.

The Health and Safety Executive states that you’re not required to carry out an in-depth, detailed assessment, only to minimise the risk to your tenants. Some steps you can take to help keep legionella from forming:

  • Flush the water system between lets
  • Stop debris getting into the system by ensuring any cold water tanks have well-fitting lids
  • Set the hot water cylinder temperature to ensure water is stored at 60°C
  • Get rid of any redundant pipework.

If we manage your property and you would like to have a check made on Legionella, we can introduce you to an expert who can assess your property for Legionella and provide you with a report.

Contact your local branch for more information.

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