Is Your Property Ready For The Winter

Landlords : Is Your Property Ready For The Winter?

Autumnal weather is well and truly upon us and for landlords, now is an ideal time to ensure your rental properties are ‘fit for purpose’ as the weather gets colder. Follow our tips below to ensure your property is in peak condition in time for the winter months.

Carry out a boiler service

When was the last time you had the boiler serviced in your rental property? Regular gas checks are essential as part of your tenancy agreement. If you’ve neglected this mandatory part of your obligations as a landlord, now is the perfect time to service the boiler and any other gas appliances in your property.  For landlords who carry out mid-term inspections or who let their properties through a reputable estate agent this should be routine.  Our advice is, don’t delay – have you ever attempted to secure the services of a gas engineer during a cold snap?

Check all pipes and guttering

All pipes and guttering should be thoroughly secured to the walls and, together with brickwork, checked for leaks, fractures and blockages. Leaking pipes may freeze and burst during the winter months and in this case prevention is certainly better than cure.

Pay attention to bathrooms

From our experience of property management at Redstones, we know that bathrooms can often suffer from excessive condensation and damp, resulting in loose or cracked tiles which lead to leaks and water damage. Check bathrooms thoroughly for any telltale signs and rectify any potential problems immediately.

Carry out regular checks if your property is empty

‘Void’ periods – the times when your property does not have a tenant – during autumn and winter months mean that you must pay extra attention to your property. Carry out regular visits and checks to ensure your property is secure and your heating is working properly.  If you are struggling to find a suitable tenant, consider contacting a reputable lettings agent who specialises in your local area and can help you to find a tenant quickly.

Insulate your property

With all landlords required to provide EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) on their rental properties, insulation is essential. Check the cladding around your pipes and boiler, ensure that your taps aren’t leaking and seal windows and doors with appropriate draft excluders.

Keep your tenants fully informed

While the maintenance of your property is your responsibility as a landlord, it is worth investing some time putting together an information pack for your tenants. Include advice on operating the boiler, locating stopcocks and ensuring heating is on if they are away during the cold weather. With the arrival of darker nights, it is also vital to ensure your property is thoroughly secured with deadlocks and burglar alarms.

Carry out tests on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

While these tests should form part of your regular inspections, with colder weather approaching, it is essential to ensure that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are fully functional.

Make sure your insurance policy is up-to-date

Insurance can be a grey area for many landlords as maintenance issues aren’t always covered by landlord policies. For your peace of mind, Redstones Financial Services provides a full range of financial services for landlords and tenants.

For more information on your responsibilities as a landlord, you may also find our blog 8 Landlord Obligations You Need To Know helpful.

Thinking of letting your property? Talk to a reputable lettings agent. Contact Redstones today to discuss your options.