This year’s winter has got off to a relatively mild start, but it’s worth remembering the coldest time of winter is yet to come. You might not think it, but it is best to ensure that your properties are prepared for the colder months, prior to them coming in.
As temperatures start to drop to below zero at night, pipes expand and contract. Any existing problems or slow leaks are likely to get worse, so it’s best to ensure the heating and plumbing systems are checked prior to the coldest months. In relation to this, a tip to give your tenants is to have the heating on more regularly but at a lower temperature, to prevent high costs and reduce the risk of burst pipes.
There is also a higher risk of damp developing in the winter so to prevent this, check that gutters and downpipes are clear and not clogged with leaves and other debris.
Check that the mortar and render doesn’t have any cracks that water can freeze within and expand, causing damage. Small cracks are a simple fix that, if left untended, can become much more serious and costly to fix.
It’s also good to check the roof to ensure that it is clear of moss, leaves and other debris and ensure that any missing tiles or flashing are replaced to prevent leaks.
To prevent your tenants wasting energy on excess heating check for badly fitted windows, gaps around doors, floorboards and the letterbox as well as ensuring that the property is well insulated. There are a few grants available for landlords to help or potentially cover the costs of energy-saving improvements. Full details can be found here.
We recommend that you have an annual boiler service for your gas or oil heating system so that you know everything is running smoothly in preparation for winter. Ensuring you have an annual service will help prevent call outs throughout the year for repairs, also it’s law to have a gas boiler serviced annually.
Aside from general maintenance, these steps will help landlords keep their property in good working order and safeguard their tenants. The steps also help them to avoid a lot of the stress involved in dealing with breakdowns.
Landlords who have a managing agent, should check that their agent is taking care of these things for them.
For properties which are untenanted, it is certainly worth considering using a service such as our Void Management. This ensures properties are looked after during winter months and resolves any problems that might arise quickly and efficiently.
Thinking about having your property investment looked after? Contact us on 02838 355100 for a free no obligation chat.