Property Maintenance

At Duncan McKenzie Property, we’re all about looking after our landlords, tenants and of course the properties. We run periodic property checks to ensure that standards are constantly maintained, that Landlords can be kept informed of routine work that needs to be done and that tenants are aware of what responsibilities they need to take for maintenance of the property in which they call home.

Ventilate your property to ensure that moulds don’t develop. Move your furniture away from walls, open windows for even just10 minutes on cold mornings to ensure moisture leaves the property and fresh air comes in.

Vacuum away the dust to ensure that moulds don’t develop on dust too. Use damp catchers under the bed and in areas where moisture stays!

Use the right cleaning materials for your property, such as leather cream/wipes on leather, wood floor cleaner on wooden floors, ceramic hob cleaner on ceramic hobs, and non scratch cleaners on baths. There are lots of “green” products out there too which are more effective than they used to be and therefore kinder to you and your home.

And as always, when in doubt, give us a shout – call us or leave a message at the Duncan McKenzie Property office (details to the right of this page) – we’re always happy to hear from you.

Boiler on the Blink?

There’s nothing nicer than coming in from the freeze to a cosy home. But how quickly that turns to misery when the boiler starts acting up…
Now winter has definitely arrived, and boilers will be working to full capacity. But what backup do you have if it breaks down? Invariably, it’ll be noticed on the weekend, or when you need it most. But it’s always more difficult to get these things sorted at that time rather than during the week.

Some properties have their boilers insured by landlords through Scottish Gas, and in those cases, it may be possible to get an engineer at the weekend. But for the most part, it will be Monday-Friday assistance.

So what do you do if the boiler in your property acts up?

1. We always ask if you suspect anything is not quite right, contact us first.
2. But if it’s gone beyond that point, and it’s just not working, particularly at the weekend when you have no other recourse, start by emailing the Agent/Manufacturer for further information. Some problems can be resolved over the phone. E.g. it may be a water pressure issue and they will be able to talk you through the process. Some digital boilers will display a Fault code and there may be information in the manual within the property, or the manufacturers may be able to help.
3. Please let us know. Leave a message at the Duncan McKenzie Office and we will deal with it on our return. At that point we can arrange a service engineer and the more information we can pass on, the more efficiently your situation can be dealt with.
4. While waiting, if it becomes very cold and you can’t get to somewhere warm, take precautionary measures – use an electric heater, wear thinner but many items of clothing, rather than 1 heavy layer to trap body heat, and make sure to have plenty of hot food and drink to stave off the deep chill until we can get your boiler fixed asap.

The Energy Performance Certificate – 10 years

In the last of our spotlight on safety posts, we look at The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – how it provides information on the energy efficiency of your property… and how it can be improved. Some of the key details you should know are as follows:

Tests are carried out by a registered assessor – approved organisations who are qualified to test as well as make recommendations on improvement measures.
The survey takes from 30 – 60 minutes and looks at the size of the living space, construction, windows, insulation, lighting (light fittings, low energy light bulbs etc), heating systems and controls.
The EPC is valid for 10 years.

As always, safety of people and property is paramount at Duncan McKenzie Property, so never hesitate to contact us with any concerns or questions.

Electrical Installation Condition Report – 5 years

Electrical installations deteriorate over time and therefore the recommendation is that they should be inspected and tested every 3-5 years. In Scotland, the Electrical Installation Condition report is a statutory test that is required every 5 years for non-HMO properties.

Properties are assessed for wiring, fixed electrics and circuits. This includes sockets, light fittings, earthing, earth bonding, fuse boxes, wear and tear and warning notices.
The inspections are made by Select or NICIEC registered electricians who will report back in detail. Findings are graded and those declared unsatisfactory (Code 1 or 2 usually) must be addressed without delay to remove risks to those in the property.

If you are a landlord or tenant, and have any concerns over electrical safety in your property, please contact the Duncan McKenzie Property office now.

Legionella Risk Assessment/Water Systems Review – Annual

This week’s safety spotlight is all about clean water…

Legionella is a water borne bacterium which can cause Legionnaire’s disease. Landlords are responsible for ensuring their properties are safe and therefore we undertake an annual review of water systems within the property.

The initial check is a risk assessment of the whole water system within the property. The resulting report shows the water tank, each water outlet shown, and any potential risks are highlighted, such as water storage. Recommendations for minimising risks are provided for the landlord, letting agent and tenant.

After the risk assessment, an annual water systems review will be carried out, which again checks the system and checks water temperatures at each outlet. Recommendations may be made at the water systems review as well depending on the findings.

Landlords should be aware that if plumbing is altered in any way, a new risk assessment must be done, even if the annual check has already been carried out.

If you’re in any doubt, call us today or contact us via the form immediately to the right of this post.

Safety Test Spotlight – Annual Portable Appliance Test

This week, we look at the examination of portable electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use within a property.
Commonly referred to as the PAT test, this applies to all portable electrical appliances within the property. A thorough visual inspection of the condition of the appliance itself plus cabling is followed by electrical tests using specialist testing equipment. Where possible, integrated appliances, such as washing machines and fridges/freezers, are also checked. Free standing appliances are considered portable and therefore also subject to testing.

For further information, please contact us using the contact form to the right on this page.
Duncan McKenzie Property – taking care of the details…

Safety Test Spotlight – Landlord’s Gas Safety Annual Check

Last week we summarised the various safety and compliance tests that need to be undertaken periodically. Here’s a little more detail on each – this week starting with Gas Safety.

The Landlord’s Gas Safety Check is carried out on an annual basis. Each gas appliance within the property is checked by a Gas Registered Engineer. This will also cover checks on ventilation, flue and fixings. Installing a Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitor is a legal requirement by the HSE as well as UK Gas companies and distributors.

Testing 123

Here’s a quick overview of the tests we’re required to run in order to keep your property and tenancy running smoothly. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be giving you a little more detail on what’s involved.



Landlord’s Gas Safety Certiificate


Portable Appliance Test


Legionella Risk Assesment/Water Systems Review


Electrical Installation Condition Report

5 Yearly

Energy Performance Certificate

10 Yearly

How does your garden grow?

As autumn grips the greenspace, it’s easy to forget that outside needs to be maintained too. But who’s responsible for what?

Your property pack will give specific information on your rental, but generally speaking, if your property comes with a private garden/outside space, you are responsible for maintaining that area to a reasonable level.  This generally means weed control and grass cutting.

If the grass needs to be cut, landlords should provide a working lawnmower, and basic garden tools, but tenants are expected to use them regularly.  Grass should not be left for weeks without cutting.   Hedges that are an accessible height should be kept trimmed.

On the other hand, if there are big trees that require pruning and require specialist help, contact us first since we may have agreed that your landlord is responsible for this.

If you’re a keen gardener and fancy remodeling or changing planting, contact us first too. But if you’re just happy to have an outside space to chill in, with the minimal input, you can relax soon – the growing season is almost over, so you should have a few months off… Enjoy the winter!

We mind the detail, so you don’t have to

We were delighted to receive an email last week from a happy landlord! Glad to be of service!

“I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thanks for all your help with letting the flat. I recently had to renew my insurance, and as there may be a potential refurbishment, I wondered if that might be something they needed to know. They advised me to keep in touch in any number of different scenarios. As they spoke, I was nodding my head as this was all stuff that Duncan McKenzie Property had made me aware of over the past year and a half. I was able to tell them with certainty that my letting agent would keep me right. So a big thank you for keeping your finger on the pulse, so we don’t get caught out!”