As a landlord or a manager of an HMO, it is your legal responsibility to regularly check fire safety and fire alarms. And to keep the record of all the checks.
At the beginning, when we only had 1 or 2 properties we visited them personally. Every month we checked all the alarms. Took pictures and noted the dates of the check. However when we took on more properties it became much harder to keep track of it all. We had to find an alternative solution.
The alternative solution came to us in the form of our housekeeper. We realized that she visits our properties every fortnight and we decided to utilize her time much more efficiently.
Our solution at the time was to create a simple fire safety log book which was printed and placed in all of our properties. The housekeeper was now responsible for the fire safety checks and the maintenance of the log book itself. She would take picture of each alarm check and send it to us.
This worked really well and saved us lots of time and planning but this presented us with another issue.
Previously when we visited the houses we would take notice of the state of the house and how well the tenants are keeping it, simple things, such as state of the common areas, garden or any maintenance issues were now becoming difficult to keep an eye on.
We decided to give the housekeeper another task on top of the fire safety checks – check the garden, common areas, note if anything is broken or messy, take before pictures of the state of the common areas, as well as pictures of the gas and electric meter readings. And that’s when the mess started…
Each property has different types of meters and among all of our houses we had a great variety of them. Some of them require a button to be pressed, some don’t. And by the end of it all, we couldn’t even understand which gas meter reading is for which property.
Our solution was simple sticker system. Sticker would be placed on each meter and include the address of the property. We also did the once off training with our housekeeper on how each meter works, to ensure there are no mistakes or misunderstandings, and since then we never had any issues.
This simple solution guarantees:
- The fires safety checks are done correctly and on time
- Each check is recorded
- Utility meter readings are up to date
- Tenants are dealt with if property is not up to our high hygiene standards
This simple yet effective solution has saved us lots of time and ensures that we don’t have to worry about our properties as we can still see them through the pictures every fortnight.
Simple yet amazing solution = Peace of Mind