Please remember the effects that harsh can have on your property that regular maintenance won’t always cover.
What can you do to maintain your property in cold, snowy, and sometimes extreme weather for a sustained period of time?
Whether it’s rainfall, harsh winds or morning frost, we want to help you to help your property. Here’s the 8 pre-emptive measures you can take to stop your house falling victim to winter-related damage, and help your tenants.
Assess your insulation
Wild animals such as squirrels, birds, mice and rats have been known to displace insulation in roofs over time due to their body weight. People can also do this through the usage of loft areas. Investigate your insulation and act decisively if it isn’t correctly placed.
This is vital when faced with cold weather, and will also help your tenants to use less heating and therefore save money.
Look at your roof
The strong winds can definitely affect the condition of your roof. Winter weather can rapidly and ruthlessly expose any frailties in roof structures – plus if there are any leaks, you could end up paying far more money for repairs in the long run so make sure that the roof is strong enough to deal with the forces of winter.
Carry out a pipe inspection
Broken or burst pipes can cause serious and extensive amounts of damage to your property.
If you have any pipes that run and flow outside of your property, for example a garden tap, make sure you turn the water flow off and run the tap dry before the temperature drops below zero to ensure that no excess water freezes and damages the internal structure of the pipes.
Try to inform your tenants to keep the heating system on if they are away from the property in the winter for a prolonged period of time to avoid frozen pipes.
“Bleed” your radiators
This may sound strange if you’re unfamiliar with the term, but bleeding your radiators can be very handy for guarding your boiler against typical winter problems. Radiator bleeding involves releasing trapped air that can prevent radiators from heating up– not an ideal situation to have on a frosty morning!
You can be forgiven if you forget maintenance like this when you aren’t living in the property but talk to your tenant about having them bleed the radiators and ensure you get the radiators serviced on an annual basis.
Keep your gutters clear
Inevitably, gutters across the UK will become clogged with wet Speckled Alders, Pin Cherrys, and various other autumn leaves. This can cause water to back up and freeze when the temperatures into the minus degrees (as they have done recently). If this happens, it could result in with water overflowing or even breakages to the external pipes.
A good way to combat against this possibility is by clearing your gutters before frost has the chance to set in.
Fight against flooding
The chances of flooding can vary greatly. However, the threat of severe damage that floods carry remains the same, so taking precautionary measures won’t do you or your property any harm.
If it has snowed, shovel it away from your property and any low-level windows. Check catch basins close to your property to make sure they aren’t obstructed, and if snow and rainfall has been particularly heavy with the threat of flooding then tell your tenants to move valuable items to higher locations in the property.
Keep your tenants informed
The more information you can share with your tenant about the property, the better. It’s important that they know what to expect in winter and what you can both do to maintain the property.
Tell them what to look out for and to keep you informed. Providing a maintenance handbook at the start of the tenancy, which explains information on the basics of winter property maintenance, can be very worthwhile for your property and also allow your tenants to feel more prepared.
Winter can be a worrying time for a landlord, and you may need to trust your tenants to help keep you informed about any property maintenance issues. Remember that anything that you ask of your tenants, providing it is fair, should be included in the tenancy agreement in the event of a deposit dispute. If you want expert information, help and guidance on all things deposit dispute related, our Resource Centre has a range of guides and FAQs to make landlord life easier.
Also, in the event that your tenants don’t fulfill their agreements over the winter months, it may be very useful to find out more information on Alternative Dispute Resolution.