With high winds and freezing temperatures, the weather is certainly reminding us that winter is upon us. If you’re thinking just how fast this year has gone, you’re not alone, but if this year has swept away before your eyes, have you remembered to ensure your rental properties are winter-ready?
It’s not too late to jump into action before that fluffy white stuff starts to bring the country to a standstill. To keep you on track, we have put together six urgent checks you need to get on with as soon as possible.
- Roofs, gutters, and drains
Autumn, with all its beauty and rich warm colours, can also play havoc when leaves become caught and build up in your drains and gutters. All it takes is a spell of heavy rain and those colourful leaves can start to cause some serious water damage to your property. It is essential to undertake regular checks on your drains and gutters to clear any blockages; an inspection of your roof will highlight any problems with loose or missing tiles.
- Freezing pipes
As the temperature drops, this could cause your pipes to freeze and, even worse, burst due to the pressure. To prevent this from happening it’s worth protecting pipes with a foam layer called lagging. If your property is going to be empty for a while during the cold months, keep the heating on low to keep warmth flowing through the pipes, this will also help minimise any issues.
When was the last time the boiler was checked? Remember it’s a legal requirement to give your tenants a copy of the annual Gas Safety Certificate. But more than legalities, no one wants to be living in a home where the boiler breaks over the festive period, never mind face the charges for emergency repairs. Keep your tenants and bank balance happy by keeping your boiler in great condition.
Are your properties well insulated? By providing a barrier around the property, insulation helps to keep the heat inside the house rather than escaping. Your tenants will also be grateful for the lower energy bills.
Simple naivety can often cause damp and mould issues, due to condensation from bad ventilation. It’s worth having a conversation with your tenants to ensure they know how to ventilate your property without losing heat. To help resolve issues you could look at placing extractor fans in the bathroom and kitchen.
The cold whether makes us all turn the heating up in our homes. Your tenants might also be cooking more, and using candles to create a cosy atmosphere. Prior to the tenancy we know you will have ensured that there is a working smoke alarm on each floor of the property, you should also have a carbon monoxide alarm. It is the tenant’s responsibility to check they are working and replace the batteries, but it could be well worth just giving them a little nudge on this - trust us, they will thank you for it.
If you’re unsure of your responsibilities in these winter months, contact a member of our team who will be more than happy to support you in keeping your properties warm and safe for your tenants this winter.