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Get smart – let smarthomes look after your property

Everyone’s got so much to do these days – so anything you can do to make your life a little easier and free up some time has to be worth considering. And that’s exactly what we’re here to do for our landlords at smarthomes – help them out, free up their time, take away all the headaches of managing tenants and properties.

Our exceptionally dedicated team are experienced in finding good tenants, and then in developing effective long-term relationships with them. Sarah Jenkins, Lettings Director at smarthomes commented, “It’s really important to develop and maintain a good relationship with tenants. We know from experience that tenants who are looked after properly and kept informed are far more likely to look after a property and keep it in good condition. We know this takes time and effort and, as many of our landlords are so busy doing other things, we can take care of this for them.”

We also regularly work with a reliable range of property contractors in every industry, from roofing and tiling to gardeners and guttering specialists. We know the people to work with and can secure competitive rates and fast turnaround times. We also take all the hassle away from the landlord, by contacting the right supplier, getting quotes, getting the cost approved, arranging for the work to be done and checking it’s been done properly.

To see why we’ve been awarded the ‘Best Letting Agent in the West Midlands’ by property review website, please click here to see our independent customer reviews:


Weather worries

With the cold weather already here, and more to come, it’s worthwhile making sure your rental property is ready for Winter if you’re a landlord. If thinking about pipes, guttering and roof tiles is just too much on top of everything else on your plate, then let the expert lettings team at smarthomes take care of it.   

It’s worthwhile investing in your property to make sure it’s in good condition before the bad weather hits. That way, any damage caused by storms or cold weather won’t have as much impact on the property – or on your wallet!

Our experienced and professional team will take all the hassle away – we work closely with local and reliable contractors to assess our clients’ properties, checking for any damaged guttering or roof tiles, making sure doors and windows are water-tight, ensuring there are no holes or gaps in the walls for water to seep in. We only work with the best contractors who offer competitive rates and high standards of workmanship. We liaise fully with the contractors on our clients’ behalf – obtaining quotes, allowing them access to the property, and checking the work has been done satisfactorily. This takes a lot of time – and a lot of headaches – away from our busy landlords.

We’ve received excellent feedback from our clients for our property services – to see our 5-star feedback on property review website please click here:


Let smarthomes sort out your pests!

The most commonly asked question we get from both landlords and tenants is, ‘Whose responsibility is that?’ And this is the same with the question of pest control – whether it’s rats, mice or an infestation of insects.

The answer depends on how the pest got into the property in the first place, and why. For example, if there is a hole in the external property wall then it is the landlord’s responsibility to both fix this hole and sort out the resulting pest problem.

If the tenant leaves food out or doesn’t tidy rubbish away, and pests are attracted into the property for these reasons, then it is the tenant’s responsibility to resolve the problem and pay for pest control treatments.

Often, no one admits to causing the issue, but the situation can get worse while both sides argue over whose responsibility it is. smarthomes lettings team can resolve the problem quickly and effectively by getting in pest control services for an independent review of how the problem was caused. Once an assessment has been done, smarthomes liaise with all parties – the tenant, the landlord and pest control services – to bring the matter to a speedy and cost-effective solution. 

To find out more about the smarthomes approach to letting and managing properties please click here:


Help with frozen pipes

Not many things in life are black and white and working out who should pay for damage resulting from a frozen pipe is another grey area.

That’s why it’s so much better to have a lettings agent manage your rental property as they can offer independent advice on who should pay – and they can make sure the situation is resolved quickly and effectively for both parties.

Sarah Jenkins, smarthomes’ Lettings Director commented, “Normally, repairs are the responsibility of the landlord, but it does depend if the tenant has been negligent in some way. For example, if the tenant turns off the heating completely and goes away for a week in a very cold spell, this can cause the pipes to freeze and then burst, creating a lot of mess and damage. In this case the tenant would be liable to pay for the repairs as the heating should have been maintained at an appropriate level during this time.”

Senka Dragicevic, a long-standing member of the smarthomes lettings team added, “We know everything there is to know about letting properties and managing rental properties. Our landlords and tenants are always calling us for advice on what to do and how to handle certain situations – they know we’ll offer them independent advice, with their best interests at heart.”

To find out how to maximise your rental income please click here:


Smart advice on protecting your property from break-ins

With crime on the increase, we want to make sure our smarthomes landlords and tenants know what they can do to protect their property effectively.

What landlords can do 

Most break-ins occur through the door being kicked in or the door lock being forced so it’s worth checking your doors are strong and secure. If you don’t want to go to the expense of a brand-new door, you could try the following:

  • Ask a locksmith to fit a bar for extra strength
  • Replace glass door panels with laminated glass which is much stronger

A few other things that are worth doing include:

  • Install window locks on all windows
  • Fit a burglar alarm
  • Install good outside lighting
  • Ensure fences around the property are in good condition

What tenants can do

It’s worth being extra careful over the Christmas period as many people go way for a few days to stay with family and there are a lot of empty properties around. The trick is to make sure that your property looks occupied and a few helpful hints include:

  • Don’t mention your holiday plans on social networking sites
  • Ask a helpful neighbour to open and close your curtains, turn lights on and off, and make sure your post is properly through the letterbox. You could even ask them to park one of their cars on your drive
  • Invest in some light switch timers and programme them to turn on when it goes dark

And the following points are worth remembering too:

  • Hide all keys out of sight and away from the letterbox
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away, out of sight
  • Ensure any side or back gates are locked
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
  • Leave a radio on if you’re out for an afternoon or evening

The smarthomes lettings team are always on hand for advice on keeping a property protected. We also work with a wide range of reputable tradespeople and can source quotes and commission work on behalf of our landlords.  To find out more about our lettings service please click here:


The smart way to deal with mould

Landlords and tenants need to work together to prevent or eradicate mould as it can develop into a long-term recurring problem if not addressed properly. 

It’s caused by excess moisture in a property, which can arise from a multitude of reasons, including poor ventilation and insulation, damaged windows and gutters, plumbing issues and cracks in the walls.

It’s often exacerbated by the way people live in the property – if tenants don’t ventilate the property properly when cooking, drying clothes or taking showers then mould can thrive.

smarthomes’ Lettings Director, Sarah Jenkins, has this advice, “If any of our tenants see mould in their rental property, they should let us know as soon as possible as it is likely to get worse over time. We work with our landlords to assess the scale of the problem and how to rectify it – it may just need a specialist clean to start with, but the cause of the problem needs to be investigated. Tenants will need to ensure they keep the property well ventilated and we may suggest to landlords they install extractor fans or use anti-mould paint. We work with both parties, offering independent advice, to keep both their interests protected.”

To find out more about the smarthomes approach to letting and managing properties please click here: