It’s definitely winter! Days are short, nights are long and the cold has arrived.
Winter can cause problems to landlords. Your property is very vulnerable during these coldest months and you need to take preventative action to protect it:
1. Frozen pipes: These are more likely to burst and this can cause flooding and water damage. Make sure that all outside pipes are properly clad. You can clad pipes yourself cheaply and the material is readily available from most DIY shops.
2. Boilers: It’s worth considering having the boiler serviced for the winter months. As well as keeping your tenants warm, a fully functioning boiler will help to ensure that none of your pipes freeze.
3. Inform your tenants: Well-prepared tenants are the most useful weapon in the battle against winter. By making sure that your tenants know are well informed about the requirements of your property you can significantly reduce the potential for damage.
An information pack that covers things like how the boiler works, and the location of the stopcock is a great idea. You should also consider suggesting that they leave the heating on a low temperature if they plan to leave the property empty for a few days. . This will help to ensure that the pipes do not freeze.
4. Insulation: Whilst it can seem like a big initial cost, a well insulated property can save you a small fortune.
Many people forget to check ‘entry points’ like doors and windows. Make sure that these close properly and that draughts cannot enter. You may need to replace the insulating strips or invest in a new draught excluder.
5. Empty properties: Vacant homes can degrade remarkably quickly through the winter. If your property is suffering from a void period, make sure that you visit the property regularly to check for any potential issues. Simple steps like airing the property and setting the heating system to come on regularly could make the difference between a winter of discontent and a Merry Christmas.
6. Blocked gutters: Water will quickly accumulate as a result of blocked gutters, and ice will soon follow. This will increase the chances of overflows or frozen pipes. You should therefore make sure that the gutters around your property are clear of leaves and debris.
Attention vendors! It’s also worth considering these steps.
If your property is empty, why not let it out to ensure the heating is used on a regular basis as well as bringing in some income for you during these traditionally quieter months.
Contact our lettings department on 0114 2413430 for more advice or information on our fantastic lettings services.