As the weather begins to get colder, dark nights are looming and talk of Christmas is upon us, property damage and theft tends to increase. So now is the time to maintain your rental property and remind your tenants to ensure their contents are secure to avoid any unwanted mishaps.
Below, we provide a reminder for you and your tenants on how to protect your property and contents during the winter months.
Protecting the building
- Check the pipes
Ensure you check the pipes on the outside and inside of the house, especially for any cracks or holes, which could lead to water damage. Another problem can occur when pipes freeze. This may be because the pipes are not adequately insulated; it is important to check this prior to the cold weather appearing. Advising tenants to keep heat flowing through them in the colder weather can also help to protect the plumbing.
- Service your boiler
Your tenants are likely to use the boiler more during the winter months, meaning it has a greater chance of breaking down. It is important to have the boiler serviced on a regular basis to locate any problems prior to the cold spells.
- Check your roof & gutters
Ensure the roof and gutters are clear from cracks, loose tiles, and debris to avoid leakage and drainage issues.
If you have an open fire or log burner in the property, it is important to clean the chimney to remove soot and blockages to help improve air ventilation. This is also a good time to check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, ensuring the batteries are replaced every 12 months, with detectors requiring complete replacement every 10 years.*
Remind your tenants to protect their contents
It is important to keep vehicles in the garage or under cover during the winter months. This will avoid any damage from falling trees or loose tiles hitting the car.
Around a third of thefts happen due to windows and doors being left open**. When your tenants leave the property, ensure they are locking all windows and doors. If they have any ladders visible around your property, advise them it’s wise to lock these away, to reduce the likelihood of opportunists taking advantage. With shorter days and longer nights, theft tends to increase through winter months.
- Social media
Remind your tenants to avoid posting day trips and holidays on social media, as this alerts potential burglars that the property will be left empty for some time.
- The festivities
As Christmas approaches and we start placing Christmas presents under the tree, burglars can be drawn in. It is advisable that you wait until Christmas day to do this to ensure valuable items are not on display.
- Security cameras & Alarm systems
It can be extremely beneficial to have CCTV cameras fitted around the property, as well as alarm systems; these help to deter thieves. If your tenants are away from the house, they can also have the alarm systems and CCTV cameras connected to their smartphones. If you already have these systems in place, make sure you check them on a regular basis to ensure they are in good working order and effective.
- Outside lighting
Thieves tend to target houses when it is dark. Having motion sensitive lights outside your property can deter them, as well as alerting tenants to movement outside.
Having the right cover in place
Preparation is key to avoiding potential damage to your property and contents. However, some factors are unavoidable. Therefore, it is important that you have your property adequately insured and to advise your tenants on what actions they can be taking.
McClarrons have a dedicated team who will be there for you should you need them. For a complimentary review of your landlords insurance, contact the Commercial team on 01653 609151 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out more about what we can offer for property owners, here.