Keeping a Georgian property in good order is like maintaining a classic car…. Work never ends!
Even a modern property needs regular maintenance if it is going to remain looking neat and tidy. Unfortunately such house maintenance costs money, and it is all too easy to let this work slip in preference to keeping the annual house maintenance charges low. This is not a good long term plan.
To help keep your maintenance plan in good shape, here are the priorities to consider:
- Top of the list. It is essential you have in place a routine programme of tests for elements such as your fire alarm system, electrical integrity, asbestos and Legionella. If a fire or similar were to break out your insurance policy could be immediately disqualified if proper annual maintenance cannot be shown.
- Keep doing the basics. Regular stairs cleaning, window cleaning, grounds and general house maintenance are all things which keep your property looking neat and tidy. They need not cost a great deal of money, but they deliver an impressive result.
- “Walk arounds” can also deliver good results when it comes to regular house maintenance. Often it is tempting for flat residents to pop a few things into the hallway, or a common issue these days is bicycles in the hallway. Not only are such things a health and safety hazard, they quickly make the hallways look scruffy. And once one person does it others will quickly follow. Almost always such things will be in breach of the lease, so a polite ‘please don’t…’ will often be enough, but if it is not then matters can be escalated.
- A dash of paint here, a dab of putty there! The leases of most leasehold properties will require the management company to maintain the décor of the property, both inside and out at regular intervals, usually about every five years. Many properties do not have such a frequency of decorating, which is a false economy. As paint deteriorates, woodwork can begin to rot, damp can develop and the eventual refurbishment programme will become all the more expensive. Develop a plan for house maintenance services, budget for it, and stick to it.
- How about blush pink carpet and purple walls? A frequent cause of delay in any decorating programme is getting everyone to agree on a colour scheme. There are no hard and fast rules, but a good plan is to have colours that are broadly neutral, but also fit in well with the period of the property. It is often wise to take some advice on colour matches and contrasts. It is also very wise to consult with residents before going ahead. Put some colour samples in the hallway and let them score them, bring a few samples of different carpets and lay on a few stair treads.
- Giving your entrance the wow factor! As Managing Agents we go into many entrance lobbies. All too many are drab and poorly presented. Often they have mail strewn across the floor because there is no mail box system, or lighting is old and drab. Today a high percentage of leasehold properties are sublet to tenants. That means for many every six or twelve months they need to ‘sell’ their flat to a new tenant. Put yourself in their shoes. Faced with two similar flats which one are you likely to choose, the one in a scruffy looking down at heel property, or one with a bright, clean well managed entrance and hallway?
PM Property Services, as a managing agent has the contacts and resources to organise refurbishment work and annual house maintenance. We ensure that all properties under our management are suitably maintained to the very highest standards.