Forecasters predict this winter will be cold and dry – making it likely we’ll get lots of snow.
While this is excellent news if you’re a skier, if you’re a landlord, it means there’s no room for complacency when it comes to maintenance and repairs.
Freezing temperatures can cause all sorts of property damage, so it’s vital that your rental is ready for the tough months ahead.
Here’s a list of seven ways to winter-proof your property to avoid expensive repair bills and ensure that you and your tenants can rest easy on cold, dark nights.
- Schedule a chat with your tenant and ask them if any minor issues need looking at (better to hear about problems now and rectify them). Also, check your tenant can locate the stopcock. Explain that if a pipe bursts, they should turn off the mains water to minimise damage.
- Have the boiler checked by a qualified professional and bleed the radiators so that they’re working efficiently.
- Cover pipes that are located outdoors or in colder areas of the property with lagging so that they don’t freeze. A frozen pipe can mean no hot water or heating (a problem in itself), but it can also cause a bigger issue. If the pressure in the system builds up, the pipe could burst and cause extensive damage to floors, walls and ceilings.
- Clear out the gutters and remove any leaves, twigs and moss. Also, check that the water is running off – you don’t want it building up in the guttering or running back onto the property. If this is the case, the water will seep into brick and timberwork and cause dampness.
- High winds can wreak havoc on fences and sheds, so ensure that everything is fixed to the ground. Also, look out for wobbly gates or shed doors that don’t close properly (as they’ll flap about when it’s windy).
- Check over your landlord insurance and note down the renewal date (just in case it’s due to expire over the holiday period). Ideally, your policy will cover flooding, water leaks and storm damage.
- If you have outdoor lighting, ensure it’s in good working order. It’s reassuring for your tenants to see what they’re doing if they come home from work in the dark.
If you’d like more advice about managing a property over winter or to learn about our property management services, contact us here at Gibbins Richards Lettings and Management Ltd today.