Completing external repairs now can help to avoid hassle and expense in the future, says Phil Cooper of Arnolds Keys.

This week’s chilly and rainy weather doesn’t change the fact that spring is well and truly upon us, and for landlords this is the ideal season to be tackling those external maintenance jobs and nipping any future problems in the bud.

The storms and cold weather of winter may have highlighted some building-related issues, and now is the time to put plans in place to remedy these. Not only will this stop things getting worse, but it will also send an important message to your tenants.

If you, as a landlord, are seen as proactive in tackling building repairs and taking a positive interest in the maintenance of the property, then hopefully this will reflect on the attitude applied by the tenants. 

Now is a good time of year to undertake a visit to take a look at the whole exterior of your property. Are there missing or lifting tiles on the roof? Is the guttering in good order, or is it leaking, sagging or overflowing? Is the brickwork, pointing and rendering all in order? Do wooden windows and doors need repairing, filling or painting? Are pathways and fences in an acceptable state?

Eastern Daily Press: Phil Cooper is a partner at Arnolds KeysPhil Cooper is a partner at Arnolds Keys (Image: Arnolds Keys)

Many landlords rely on tenants to report such issues, but in general that will only happen when it becomes a problem for the tenant themselves. So, you might not hear about that leaking gutter until it translates into a problem of damp penetrating a wall, by which time a simple repair may have become an expensive and disruptive undertaking.

It’s not just about avoiding the hassle and expense of major repairs for the want of simple maintenance. Most tenants aspire and rightly expect to live in decent homes which are properly looked after, and making that a reality sends a message both to existing tenants and potential new ones.  

Undertaking those visits and putting in place maintenance tasks is a real win-win. The landlord can rest easy knowing that their property is in good order and that potentially expensive future problems have been nipped in the bud. 

Meanwhile, the tenant gets to live in a home which is hopefully problem-free and in which they can take pride.

All of which means there is no better time to spring into action than now.

Phil Cooper is a partner at Arnolds Keys. Visit