Callum Ward, 12 December 2019
We recently wrote an article about our 5 top tips for tenants this winter in the hope of helping tenants understand their responsibilities when it comes to maintaining their rental property during the festive period, but what about landlords? Landlords are tasked with ensuring their property doesn’t succumb to the harsh winter temperatures and endanger any tenants. In order to help landlords throughout the winter, we’ve compiled a list of our 5 top tips for landlords this winter:
Ensure the property is heated
Year after year the holiday season brings cold days and even colder nights all across the country. This can cause massive issues not just for the tenants but also the landlord too. The freezing conditions can lead to numerous damages to a property resulting in an expensive repair, as well as causing discomfort for tenants, so it’s imperative to do what you can to keep the property heated.
Insulation can be key to keeping a property warm, so it’s essential that you have adequate insulation and check it consistently. Animals such as birds, squirrels, mice etc tend to displace the insulation in a property, causing damage that can often go unnoticed. Checking the insulation on a regular basis can help to ensure everything is intact, resulting in less of a need for tenants to constantly have the heating on and in turn saving you money.
As well as checking your insulation, be sure to check that the boiler is running smoothly. Pipes can freeze and cause a breakdown which can be a nightmare for both landlords and tenants as repairing such an issue can be extremely costly. It is vital to ensure everything is in working condition before the Christmas period to decrease the chances of any breakages. Another tip to keep a property warm is to bleed the radiators. Bleeding a radiator helps to remove the trapped air that can build up over time and stop the radiator from working.
Keep an eye on the roofing and gutters
The winter weather can affect an awful lot of the exterior components of a property. The extremely low temperatures, winter rain/snowfall and strong winds can lead to damage to the gutters. They can get dislodged due to wind, freeze over or even build up with debris such as leaves or mud, so it is important the check it all consistently to avoid blockages and damages.
Strong winds and heavy downpours in particular can also prove to be detrimental to the roof’s structure. Tiles can loosen or even fall which can be dangerous, and cladding can become exposed and cause damages resulting in leaks. Leaks can be extremely costly to repair so be sure not to overlook the exterior of your property during the winter months.
Check your insurance
Insurance is so important for landlords, so it’s extremely important to ensure you have it first of all, and if you do make sure it gives you adequate protection if anything does go wrong. It is impossible to know when problems may occur during a tenancy and the chance of an accident is much higher during the wintertime, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and make sure you have the correct insurance in place in case anything does happen.
Your landlord insurance policy should include Building and Public Liability and Rent Guard insurance, as well as things like boiler insurance and winter related damages, in order to cover your back in case of any accidents or injuries that occur on your premises. Having these policies and insurances in place also offer landlords a little bit more peace of mind throughout the duration of letting a property.
Communicate with tenants
As a landlord, communication with your tenants can be key – especially during the winter period. This can come in the form of conducting regular checks of your property, calling or messaging your tenants, and can be a great way of ensuring everything is being kept in an acceptable condition.
Being approachable is key for keeping in touch with your tenants. You want them to be able to report any issues with their home or damages that have occurred during this period, which will help to streamline the process of resolving whatever issue there may be and hopefully lessen the chance of any issues worsening.
Use an agency
As you can see, being a landlord can be a lot of hard work and extremely time consuming. If you decide to undertake the role of a landlord, you must make sure you are extremely thorough with your checks and ensure that all documents are up to legal standards.
One way around this is to use a letting agency – just like us! Here at Intus Lettings we can ensure all of the tasks are out of your hands and give you the peace of mind that everything necessary is in place. We can help you cover the legalities, management and marketing when letting your property and ensure an easy and stress-free process. Interested? Get in touch with our team here.
Callum Ward, 12 December 2019