Devon Property Management Company

Holiday Home - New Year Checklist

Montagu South West

Thursday, January 07, 2016

As a busy holiday home owner you are probably in the quieter part of your letting year, an ideal time to take stock and review the repairs and improvements that can be made to your property before the letting season begins; 

Here are our Top Ten recommendations for your annual holiday home check-list; 

1. Chimney stacks:
Check these occasionally for signs of cracked cement, split or broken pots, or loose and gaping joints in the brickwork or render. Storms may loosen aerials or other fixings, including the materials used to form the joints with the roof coverings.

2. Roof coverings:
Check these occasionally for slipped, broken and missing tiles or slates, particularly after storms. Flat roofing has a limited life, and is at risk of cracking and blistering. You should not walk on a flat roof. Where possible keep it free from debris. If it is covered with spar chippings, make sure the coverage is even, and replace chippings where necessary.

3. Rainwater pipes and gutters:
Clear any debris at least once a year, and check for leaks when it is raining. You should also check for any loose downpipe connector and broken fixings.

4. Drains
Lift drain covers annually to check for blockages and clean these as necessary. Check any private drainage systems annually, and arrange for a qualified contractor to clear these as necessary. Keep gullies free from debris.

5. Garden:
Regularly prune trees, shrubs and hedges as necessary. Look out for any overhanging and unsafe branches, loose walls, fences and ornaments, particularly after storms. Clear leaves and other debris, moss and algae growth. Make sure all hard surfaces are stable and level, and not slippery or a trip hazard. Internally

6. Ceilings:
If you have a leak in the roof the first sign is damp on the ceiling beneath the roof. Be aware if your ceiling begins to look uneven as this may indicate a more serious problem, particularly for older ceilings.

7. Decoration:
Freshen and repaint all old and peeling paintwork. Remove any old wood chip paper to create a more modern feel. Try and redecorate one room every year to avoid a huge job in one go.

8. Fireplaces, chimney breasts and flues:
You should arrange for a qualified specialist to regularly sweep all used open chimneys every year. Also, make sure that bricked-up flues are ventilated. Flues to gas appliances should be checked annually by a qualified gas technician.

9. Services:
Arrange for an appropriately qualified technician to check and test all gas, oil services, boilers, heating systems and connected devices once a year. If you are letting the property out a gas safety certificate is mandatory.

10. Electrical installations
​Should only be replaced or modified by a suitably qualified electrician and tested as specified by the Electrical Safety Council (recommended minimum of a ten year period if no alterations or additions are made, or on change of occupancy).

Remember holidaymakers are becoming more and more discerning and in particular they want at least what they have at home and usually more. They are also very well informed by the internet and it only takes one disgruntled tenant to put a negative review on your property and this can cost you £1,000’s in income. Employing a company like Montagu South West to look after these things also means that when you visit your holiday home you can relax and have that glass of wine at lunchtime and not feel guilty that you should really be redecorating the small bedroom!