Sun 01 Jan 2023
Landlords: Don’t get caught out in the cold this season
Burchell Edwards is advising landlords to take action now and make sure their rental properties are in peak condition for the colder months ahead. With winter on its way and bringing with it the heightened risk of damage to unprepared homes, the estate agency is reminding landlords of their responsibility to ensure the safety of tenants, and offering a check list to assist with a warm and problem-free winter:
1. Check the heating system – winter is the busiest and most profitable time of year for gas engineers, ensure all heating systems are fully working, bleed all radiators and, if necessary, service the boiler.
2. Keep an eye on unoccupied properties – if your property is unoccupied, make plans for its upkeep and run heating on a low setting to avoid any issues with damp or damaged pipes when it is turned back on.
3. Check your pipes – frozen pipes can burst and cause serious risk and expensive damage to your property. Check all external pipes for any signs of leaks, breaks or blockages.
4. It’s what’s on the outside as well as the inside – check brickwork for cracks, clear out drains and gutters, remove any obstructions to water flow and replace any loose or cracked roof tiles. Test outside lights ready for the dark winter nights.
5. Keep the cold out – check entry points and prevent any drafts from coming in by fitting draft excluders to doors and windows for extra protection. Make sure lofts and walls are fully insulated.
6. Safety checks – if there is an open fire, make sure the chimney has been swept to avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fires. Also test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
7. Understand your insurance policy – read through all insurance documents to make sure your policy is up to date and provides the cover you need. Come up with a plan of action should any urgent problems arise.
8. Keep your tenants informed – communication is key when safeguarding your property and protecting tenants. You should inform tenants of any work that is scheduled, any holidays you have planned and who to contact in an emergency.
“It’s good to be prepared before the weather turns really cold as many of the problems that arise during the winter months are often not only very costly for landlords to fix, but can seriously affect the day-to-day lives of tenants,” says Stephen Nation, Lettings Managing Director at Burchell Edwards's parent company, Connells Group. “Don’t be left out in the cold - call or visit one of our branches if you need any help or advice on how to get your property winter ready, or any assistance managing them over the festive season and beyond.”
Burchell Edwards can offer a range of lettings services and advice, from matching tenants to their ideal properties to full property management, rent collection and insurance advice. For further information please contact your local branch.
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