Once the thermometer plummets below zero the pipes can freeze, blocking pipes and expanding to burst them. This is probably the most common issue in winter, accounting for a fifth of insurance claims by Landlords over the cold season. Don’t be one of the stats! Empty properties are most at risk, so if you manage your own property – particularly a Student one – and your Tenants are planning to go away over the break, now’s the time remind them of their responsibilities and to leave their boiler on low when they go. If your Tenants do find a burst pipe, make sure they switch the water off immediately at the stopcock to prevent further damage.
Number Two: Avoid Mould and Condensation
This time of year the combination of poor ventilation, heating on and soggy items left on radiators make it the perfect conditions for condensation, which then leads to mould. Mould can cause a lot of trouble for Landlords, particularly if it’s not dealt with promptly. Not only is it ugly but it can also pose a health risk for Tenants so it’s something to take seriously and act fast to remedy. Make sure you remove any mould to prevent it from building up and remind your tenants how to reduce damp and condensation. This PDF from Leeds City Council has some good information worth a read and sharing with your Tenants: www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/condenstation%20mould.pdf
Number Three: Check the Heating
This one might seem obvious but its worth making sure that your property is warm enough. Nobody wants to live in a cold, draughty property. Plus cold conditions can also encourage further issues such as mould, a broken boiler and frozen pipes, it is well worth making sure your property is as warm as it can be. 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.
Number Four: Weatherproof your Roof
Keeping the roof of your property in good condition is essential and never more so when we are facing a cold snap. Insurance policies will only cover properties that are reasonably maintained. So if your property suffers from wind and storm damage, this 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.
Number Five: Check your Insurance Policy
Ensure that your insurance policy in order, up to date and provides all the cover you require. This is even more important if you live far away or will be unavailable over Christmas and New Year. You could also consider adding home emergency cover to your policy. Alternatively, this is just the kind of thing we can help with if we manage your property for you. Why not speak to one of our team about managing your property to take the hassle out of property management? Click here to contact us.