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Preparing your Rental Property for Winter

Preparing your Rental Property for Winter

With the end of the year fast approaching, and with many properties potentially being empty during the Christmas period, it’s important to ensure that your property is well prepared for the winter weather.

Unfortunately, winter is often the season where properties seem to develop faults. Whether it’s broken boilers or leaking guttering, this is the season we see a peak in calls to arrange emergency repairs. 

Rather than waiting for disaster to strike, take the time to read through out quick guide on how to protect your property during winter and avoid any costly repairs.

Heating Systems 

At this time of year boiler maintenance is essential. As a landlord it is your legal obligation to ensure your gas boiler is inspected each year and that a gas safety certificate is provided to your tenant.  If you can, it’s worth timing this inspection to take place in the autumn, and to carry out a full service at the same time. This way, you’ll ensure that your tenants stay warm and you stay legally compliant!

But it’s not just gas boilers that can cause the central heating to fail.  Radiators that haven’t been used for a while could need bleeding.  Plus, as the temperature falls, there’s a risk of freezing pipes and therefore it’s a good idea to inspect pipes for any signs of cracks or damage that could be exacerbated once the thermometer reads zero.

Gutters and drains

Now that the majority of the leaves have fallen from the trees, it might be time to consider inspecting and clearing the guttering of your rental property to avoid any of the issues caused by blockages.

Equally, it’s important to check your drains and clear away any debris which may cause a blockage and problems for your tenants during the winter months.

Fences and gates

We’ve already been victim to heavy rainfall, and as winter continues it is unlikely that we’ve seen the last of the stormy weather and heavy winds. Take time before the Christmas period gets fully underway to inspect the fences and gates around your property and repair any joints which have been impacted by the bad weather. That way you’ll avoid having to carry out costly repairs during the festive season.

Check your insurance

Regularly reviewing your insurance documents and having a comprehensive insurance policy designed especially for landlords could prove to be a godsend if the wintry weather does wreak havoc on your rented home.

Just like a home-owner policy, specialist cover for landlords can protect against things like escape of water, or damaged fences.  Some polices may cover your boiler – although they are often restricted to boilers under a certain age that have been serviced regularly.  Investing in specialist policies may also cover emergency accommodation for your tenants in the event of a disaster that means they’re unable to remain within the home- protecting your reputation as well as your tenants!

Although holding specialist insurance as a landlord isn’t a legal requirement, some mortgages specify this.  Speak to your local branch for more information about landlord insurance.