1) Condensation and mould
Mould can cause great problems for Landlords, especially if left for a long period of time. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also pose significant health risks especially to people with lung conditions and children.
During the winter months, damp and mould issues can escalate due to condensation caused by heated rooms with poor ventilation, or clothes being dried on radiators. It is important to remove any existing mould to prevent it from building up and to ensure that your tenants are aware of how to reduce damp and condensation from the property.
2) Prevent burst pipes
When the temperature drops below zero and freezes it can block pipes and on expansion cause them to burst. This is reportedly the number one winter issue and accounts for one fifth of insurance claims made by Landlords.
When the property is vacant over winter and the heating has been switched off the pipes are more likely to burst. Let Leeds has sent recently sent all of our managed tenants a reminder to keep their boiler on a low setting over the festive period to prevent this from happening. If you manage your own property, now is a good time to remind tenants of their responsibilities and how to keep the property health during this winter period. If your tenants do find a burst pipe, make sure they switch the water off immediately at the stop cock to prevent further damage.
3) Make sure the heating is working
Heating is a necessity over winter. Nobody wants to live in a cold, draughty property. Plus cold conditions can also encourage further issues including mould, a broken boiler and frozen pipes.
Your property’s heating can be improved by installing insulation, bleeding radiators and installing draught excluders around windows and doors. It’s also advised that you call a Gas Safe registered engineered to check the boiler is in good working order, before temperatures really plummet.
4) Weatherproof your roof
Ensure that the roof of your property is kept in good condition. Insurance policies will only cover properties that are reasonably maintained. Wind and storm damage can cause some serious damage to your property but insurance policies will only cover this if your property has been reasonably maintained.
Most insurance companies measure storms using the Beaufort wind force scale. It is generally considered highly unlikely that a storm below 52mph would damage a well-maintained property. Loose ridge tiles probably won’t be covered on your insurance if damaged in winds less that those classed as at storm levels by the Beaufort scale.
5) Check your insurance policy
Check your insurance policy is in dated and provides the cover you require. Make sure your policy is in order and up to date and if you live far away or will be unavailable over Christmas and New Year, consider adding home emergency cover to your policy. Alternatively, why not speak to one of our Property Consultants about managing your property to take the hassle out of property management.
Now all that’s left to do is enjoy your Christmas break!
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