As the winter months are upon us, the cold weather is arriving, which can lead to claims for properties if they aren’t looked after properly. Therefore, it is important that you make sure your rental property is adequately maintained prior to the cold spells. Landlords can save themselves a lot of hassle and help keep tenants happy by carrying out a few basic checks and taking any necessary actions before the bad weather appears.
Follow our brief guide to help prepare your rental property ahead of winter.
- Drainage Systems – make sure the gutters and drains are clear from debris, including leaves and mud. This will reduce the risk of blockages and water damage to your property. We recommend that these checks are made on a regular basis, to prevent against long term issues, such as leakages and burst pipes.
- Roofing – checking the roof for broken tiles, pointing issues and cracks in the chimney can help identify areas which could cause leakages during heavy rain or snow. You can then look to rectify any issues in good time to prevent any further damage or claims.
- Pipes – if your property is unoccupied during the winter months, it is advised to turn off your water supply. This will avoid pipes from freezing, causing them to split.
- Outdoor Space – maintaining the garden and any other outdoor areas, including cutting trees and bushes can help prevent any potential drain blockages from leaves, and will also save time and effort when the summer months come back around. Tenants should also be advised to regularly clear paths from leaves and debris, which can also help reduce any unwanted accidents. It would also be a good idea to store any garden furniture, as this can be a hazard to the property and neighbours in bad weather.
- Keeping the property warm – It is recommended to keep the heating on at a constant 12 degrees to avoid freezing water and burst pipes. Boiler issues are also extremely common in the winter months; it is recommended to have the boiler serviced at the end of October, in preparation for the winter spells.
- Ventilation – It is common for dampness to occur during the winter months, mainly in bathrooms and kitchens. Maintain extractor fans and speak to your tenants to ensure they ventilate the property consistently.
- Lighting – if a property is going to be empty during the winter months, it is advised that you have an automatic light to come on regularly throughout each day; this can help to deter any unwanted visitors whilst it’s unoccupied.
Preparing your rented property for the winter months is beneficial to help reduce the chances of needing to make a claim. However, sometimes the worst does happen, and you may need to carry out repairs quickly and efficiently to reduce the chances of a loss of income. Therefore, now is a great time to be carrying out checks on your properties and ensuring you have adequate insurance in place.
To find out more about our Property Owners insurance offering, contact the team on 01653 602650 or click here