Hidden maintenance cost of north Somerset homes

7th November 2018
Hidden maintenance cost of north Somerset homes

People living in North Somerset apartments with a view of the sea need to ensure landlords or managing agents make proper provision for the cost of damage from wind, sea salt and seagulls, according to Weston-super-Mare property specialists. 

Mcilroy Smith, Weston-super-Mare based boutique property management consultancy say the growing number of apartments in Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon and Portishead come with a hidden maintenance cost. 

Managing Director Andrew Simmonds, who has 12 years’ experience of property management, said: “There are more and more purpose-built apartment blocks, or converted older buildings along the coast of North Somerset. Having a view of the sea is a fantastic attraction but those in charge of maintenance need to factor extra costs in. 

“Wind damage, taking tiles from roofs and damaging structures is quite common but the long-term effect of salt sea air getting into the stonework can lead to major maintenance problems in time. It is important that developers and those who convert buildings put proper treatment and maintenance regimes in place at the outset. 

“Then there is the menace of seagulls. Gulls regard high buildings as if they are a cliff face and they will come back again and again to next, causing disturbance, picking at refuse and causing more stone erosion through their droppings. 

“So often tenants of apartment blocks find that as part of their lease they have a responsibility for maintenance and either have to pay the landlord or a managing agent a fee. Timely and properly planned maintenance means there is no shock in the bills as time goes by.” 

With much of Portishead developed over a short time frame in the last decade Andrew Simmonds says the problems caused by sea air, wind and seagulls is just being felt by apartment owners and renters. Mcilroy Smith are managing a number of sea-facing blocks and supporting apartment owners through the issue.   

In Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare it is a slightly different situation with many Georgian and Edwardian buildings that were originally constructed for families or as commercial buildings now converted into multiple apartments with a number of different owners or tenants. 

Said Mr Simmonds: “When you have a number of tenants there is always an issue over ensuring that everyone pays their fair share. Someone on a lower floor may feel the roof isn’t really their responsibility when in fact if there is damage water can penetrate and cause problems for all. 

“It is vital that agreements are in place, that everyone understands what their responsibilities are and that buildings are properly managed. Those who live in buildings by the sea can do this themselves or jointly engage someone to run the building for them and take away the hard work.”