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Winter maintenance for your rental property

24 November 2014 / By: / Under: Landlords

The colder months present significant challenges for landlords looking to rent out their properties. Here are five pieces of advice to help you avoid the expense of property problems over the winter.

Pipes

One key thing to check is all external pipes for leaks, breaks and blockages. This is because pipes can freeze over during the cold months and then expand and burst, causing potentially expensive damage.

The best thing to do is to make sure that all of the pipes are in good order and secured tightly to the walls. Also, have a look at the brickwork around the property for cracks that may let water in.

Insulation

Insulating your property properly is absolutely essential. Again, start with the basics. Invest in some draft excluder to keep doors and windows secure. Make sure you check the cladding all around your boiler and that the taps and faucets don’t leak.

Have an emergency stash!

Make sure you keep some vital items in your property for emergencies. For example, a torch and a basic tool kit will help to ensure that small disasters can be mitigated. And always remember to leave your contact number with your tenants, as they may not be able to handle everything alone.

Make sure your tenants are informed

The best way to guard against winter property damage is to ensure your tenants are well informed. Keep them briefed as to how to deal with the cold weather and what to prepare for. As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to keep them up to date with changes they need. You could even put together a basic information pack on how to do things like operate the boiler etc.

Cover void periods

During the cold months, void periods are a great danger. If you believe your property is likely to be empty this winter, you will need to make extra plans to ensure its upkeep. Visit regularly to make sure that the property is ok; and if you can’t be there yourself, get someone else to do it for you.

It’s the little things…

There are always small problems in properties that need fixing, such as the cracked skirting board, the drafty door, the loose pipe. If you make an effort to fix these sooner rather than later, you can stop bigger problems arising in the future.

Check your insurance policy

You’ll have an insurance policy, so make sure you check it. Often maintenance-related issues are not covered by landlord policies. This means that you need to ensure that your property is in good condition for winter for your tenants’ and your own peace of mind.

If all of this sounds like too much of a drag, get in touch and we’ll explain how we can look after your property for you.

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