Winter maintenance made easy
The UK hasn’t had a really cold winter for a few years now but the temperature is certainly dropping and heavier rainfall is forecast for the months ahead. So for landlords, now is the time to make sure your rental properties will keep your tenants warm and dry this winter.
Preventative maintenance makes sense. Why spend unnecessary cash on breakdowns and emergency callouts when by thinking ahead you could avoid any extra cost. So here are some quick wins to help you keep the cold and damp at bay in your rental home this winter.
Clean out the guttering – blocked gutters frequently cause rainwater to find its way in through roofs and around windows and leaks can damage external brickwork too. So make sure gutters are free of leaves and debris. If you use a window cleaning company, for a few extra pounds they will often be happy to clear gutters for you while they are working with ladders at your property.
Check roofs for loose tiles – obviously these are a source of leaks too and can result in considerable internal damage if not attended to. A visual check is normally all that’s needed to spot any problems.
Tackle draughts – now is the time to ensure doors and windows are properly insulated against the cold. If they need replacing, invest in new doors and double or triple-glazed windows. This can be a costly exercise but as of the end of September, landlords can get help with the cost to the tune of up to £5000 from the Government’s newly launched Green Homes Grant. This can be put towards not only upgrading doors and windows but better insulation too.
Get the boiler serviced – Don’t put yourself at the mercy of expensive callouts this winter because your tenants’ boiler has broken down. If it’s going to happen, you can guarantee it will be during the Christmas period when engineers will be charging double. So look online for an affordable service contract that will ensure boilers continue to work efficiently – and always use a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Pay attention to pipes – it is rare these days for pipes to freeze, especially in the South of England, but it could happen if we have a really cold snap so make sure any exposed pipework is properly lagged.
And finally, property problems can be costly so make sure you have the right insurance in place to cover you for unexpected damage to your rental home.
Author : Maryanne Bowring