A few checks to make before the season gets under way

January is over, February half-term is not too far away, and with luck, the enquiries and bookings are starting to roll in. If your house is already “To Let” then there’s no time to lose in making sure the property is in great shape for your guests so that they can have the holiday they are hoping for.

Here at Cornish Traditional Cottages, we suggest the following areas of scrutiny ahead of the coming season:

Inventory

Things will have been damaged, lost or worn out over the past year – make sure you do a thorough stock-check and replace anything you need to; cutlery, crockery and cookware should be in good order and sufficient in number. Take a look at linen, towels and other fabrics (curtains too) and make sure they are smart. One might “make do” with something slightly threadbare at home, but that’s not OK for a paying customer!

Fire Risk Assessment

Do you have one? It is a legal requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment and to provide smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at all rental properties.

For guidance on this, take a look at www.visitbritain.org/pink-book/fire-risk-assessment-tool

The assessment will need to be reviewed regularly and we would suggest that an annual review would be appropriate. Check all the batteries, escape routes and signage to make sure that everything conforms to your risk assessment.

Electrical Safety

It is important to make sure that your equipment and wiring is safe for anyone visiting your property. You should have an inspection and maintenance programme for both portable appliances and mains wiring. We recommend that you have Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) done ever year and an electrical condition report on the mains wiring every five years.

Gas Safety

Any gas appliances or central heating boilers must be serviced and have a safety check performed annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Carbon Monoxide

Ensure that fully functional carbon monoxide detectors are installed in any room used partly or wholly as living accommodation which contains an appliance which burns, or is capable of burning, solid fuel. This will include boilers, gas cookers, open fires and wood burners.

Outside Space

This is a good time to take stock outside; make a note of areas which will need attention. Pay particular heed to gutters, drains and downpipes. Fences, gates, garden paths, patios and steps are all important, and garden furniture should be inspected closely. Take a look at the paintwork on your doors and windows and the walls of your property. Does the paint look fresh, clean and smart? Would the current appearance make a good first impression? If not, then arrange to have it redone without delay!

Whether you are considering letting, are already letting yourself, or with somebody else, we would be pleased to offer you honest and impartial advice; please call Alison, Charmian or George on 01208 895 354, email property@corncott.com or pop in to see us in our Wadebridge office.