Landlords, Are Your Properties Up To Scratch For The Winter Cold?
Winter is arguably the most difficult season for landlords because the cold brings the potential for a lot of problems.
Whether you’re a new landlord or an experienced veteran you can still fall victim to the problems winter brings but they can be avoided if you act now. Below, I’ve outlined everything landlords need to do and check to ensure their properties are up to scratch for the colder months of the year.
It might sound like a lot of work but if you check everything now there is much less risk of something going wrong during the winter. Which means happier tenants and a better investment for the future, so landlords everywhere read on to find out everything you should do before the cold weather arrives.
Many of your tenants likely won’t be using their heating much over the autumn and I’ am guessing the majority of people won’t have used them at all during the summer months. But they will be using them a lot during the winter which means now is a good time to get everything checked.
If central heating systems haven’t been used in a while you shouldn’t expect them to just turn back on and work right away. After a long period of inactivity, you should always get central heating systems inspected by a qualified, experienced professional just to be safe.
Boilers should be serviced, gas and electric fires need to be examined and you should inspect the pipes and radiators. Yes, it might take a while to get it all done but by doing it now you could save yourself a lot of trouble. You might also want to take this opportunity to see if anyone is offering a better deal when it comes to your utilities as well.
Extractor fans are often forgotten about which can lead to some serious problems in the winter especially were condensation is concerned. No landlord wants an infestation of damp, do they? But if your properties extractor fans aren’t working that is what you will likely get.
So, inspect them and make sure they are free of obstructions and dust and in full working order. You should also check other ventilation systems as well if your properties have any and don’t forget to check the windows as well.
As a landlord you’re also responsible for the outside of any property you’re renting as well. Which means you will need to check outdoor fixtures like sensor lights. If you don’t have sensor lights then now is a great time to go and get them installed, winter brings about early nights and if you want to scare away potential burglars these lights are invaluable.
You should also get the roof checked as well and make sure the guttering is clean and clear, dead leaves can really pile up after the autumn. You should also inspect the drains to make sure nothing is blocking them and that there is no damage to the roof tiles. If you don’t want to get up on the roof yourself (which is certainly understandable) you can hire a professional to do it for you.
You should also examine your properties for any structural damage even a tiny crack can turn into a big problem due to the winter cold. And if there are any problems getting them dealt with now before winter hits it's always going to be for the best.
While you are doing your pre-winter checks you should also take the opportunity to make sure your properties smoke and burglar alarms are working correctly. People will likely be spending more time indoors during the winter and will make more use of their fires and kitchen. So, get those smoke and CO alarms checked, you should also ensure any burglar alarms or security systems are checked over as well.
As a landlord, you are likely well versed with all the insurance you need when renting out properties. But now is a good time to look through everything and make sure you have the coverage you need. Check for the important things like coverage in case of an emergency like a broken boiler or damaged pipes.
If you’re not getting the cover you need then now is a great time to look into switching to someone else. And even if you are getting the coverage you need there is the possibility that someone could be offering a better deal. So, take the time to look over your insurance policies and see if things can be improved in any way.
So, that’s everything landlords need to check over and get done before the winter freeze arrives and now that you know what to look out for and check, you can make a start!Back to articles