In this week’s #ExpertView, Victoria Barker, Communications Officer at Residential Landlords Association (RLA), shares her top tips for looking after your rental property during the winter months.
Christmas may have been and gone, but winter is still truly upon us. In this #ExpertView blog, we take a look at some practical tips on how landlords can prepare their properties against the long winter weather still ahead of us.
As a landlord, there are things you can do now to prepare your property for windy weather and icy conditions, in order to potentially avoid expensive repair work further down the line.
Check out our Eight winter property care tips below:
1. Inspect the property and speak to your tenants
As an initial step, it is a good idea to speak to your tenants and ask them if they have noticed anything at the property which could require your attention. It may be the case that an issue may seem small at first, but if left it could turn into a bigger problem.
Landlords may also wish to inspect the property themselves – for instance one of the things you could be looking out for is dripping pipes.
2. Make sure gutters are clear
It is important to make sure that gutters outside the property are clear from leaves and debris. You should also check the eaves and have a look at the roof to ensure there are no loose tiles, which could prove dangerous.
3. Open fire? Sweep the chimney
You should also make sure that if there is a chimney at the property, that it has been swept, because any obstructions in it could be dangerous.
4. Service the boiler
Not only will this ensure that the property is warm for your tenants, it will also help towards preventing the pipes from freezing during the colder months.
5. Emergency contact details
It’s useful for you to have the number of a 24-hour plumber and other important tradespeople to hand, in the event of a winter emergency. Your tenants should also have up-to-date contact information for you, in case they need to get hold of you in an emergency.
6. Tenants heading away for Christmas?
Advise them to keep the heating on! Doing so will reduce the chances of the pipes in the property from freezing. With tenants heading away over Christmas, you may also wish to take additional measures for the peace of mind that the property will be safe and secure. For example, you may wish to put lights on timers and ask a neighbour to push the post through.
7. Don’t forget about the outside of the property
Make sure that lights outside the property work. This is especially important if there are steps leading up to the property as you don’t want tenants to slip over if it is dark. It’s also a good idea to make sure that garden furniture and bins are secure in case of high winds. Check the state of fences to-it is far cheaper to replace one fence panel now rather than entire fence in the event of awful weather.
8. Remember the importance of insurance
While there are plenty of things you can do to protect your property from the winter elements, things can still go wrong, which is why it is so important that you have insurance.
About the author
Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA. She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.
RLA has over 30,000 members nationwide, with a combined portfolio of over a quarter of a million properties. Home to a growing community of landlords, the RLA delivers day-to-day support, expert advice and government campaigning, plus a range of high-quality services relevant to their landlord’s needs.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a Government approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.
TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.
TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.
These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.
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