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We’re all well aware that summer is far behind us now, with the clocks going back and these eerie, dark winter nights creeping up on us. There’s nothing worse than something happening to your property that could have been prevented, especially in this weather. We have procedures in place here at our letting agency to ensure our properties are prepared for any significant threats.
You can never rule-out the possibility of drastic weather damaging your property in a way that isn’t easy to resolve yourself. We highly recommend Landlord Emergency Insurance and to also check your current Landlord Insurance policy to ensure certain things are covered.
2. Guttering and Roofing
Extra strong winds can dislodge any loose tiles you may not know you had. This could lead to a leak and the chance of further, more serious damage. It’s always wise to get someone out to check the roof for you to eliminate the risk beforehand. Also, guttering could have easily become blocked during the rainy autumn months with leaves. This can cause water to overflow, which can encourage damp and cause damage to the exterior of the house, possibly causing dreaded damp to show it’s ugly face.
3. Frozen Pipes
One of the most common cause of damage to properties in the winter months is burst water pipes, caused by freezing. Water UK recommends checking that your water tanks and pipes have no gaps at bends, valves or fittings. Also, always ensure your tenants know how to turn off the water supply in the event of a leak
Landlords are, by law, required to ensure all boilers and gas appliances undergo a safety inspection annually. Still, if you haven’t had your boiler checked in a while, it’s always a good idea to get someone to look at it before the temperature drops. As you know, our boilers are put under immense strain during these cold months, and this can bring any previous defects to the fore. At our agency in Newport we’ve recently had an influx of calls regarding boilers as tenants tend to not use them during the warmer months, therefore they may not be in working order.
5. Inform Your Tenant
We know you’re unlikely to be available 24/7 to deal with any problems immediately, so always tell your tenant what they can do and who they can contact in the event of an emergency. Also let them know if there’s anything that they could do to keep the property in good working order. For example, leaving the heating on at a low temperature can help prevent pipes from freezing if they are leaving the property unattended for a long period of time.
So it would be wise for you to use these next few weeks to ensure your flats and/or houses are prepared and protected as much as possible for the winter months ahead.