As the days start getting shorter and the nights get colder, landlords must understand how the Winter season can have a detrimental impact on the overall condition of your tenanted property.
As the weather gets worse, various components of the building can become damaged, often resulting in expensive and time-consuming repairs, which can not only affect your rental yield but can also inconvenience and frustrate your tenants.
Keep reading for our top tips to keep your tenanted property winter-proof for the upcoming months.
Get a Boiler Service
Every established landlord understands the importance of getting your boiler serviced once a year. Yearly services will highlight any issues that may have gone undetected when the heating hasn’t been needed during the warmer months and prevent future problems. This is especially important in the Winter months because everyone begins switching on their central heating systems; the surge in gas consumption can break down boilers, leading to further complications like unhappy tenants.
Check Your Insurance Policy
We recommend reviewing your current insurance policy, as a standard landlord policy may not cover things like maintenance callouts, which may be helpful in colder months. There are many different policies available to landlords that you can add to your existing policy, such as landlord home emergency or landlord boiler breakdown.
Before winter hits, we also recommend that you and your tenant ensure the property is fit to survive, especially if the property is old. For instance, if your property has many wooden beams or decking, be sure to check for deterioration as wood rot is especially prevalent during the winter season. However, if the property is affected, you can use a high-quality wood hardener to prevent further damage. Performing these checks will give you and your tenant peace of mind and ensure everything’s in order.
Clear Out the Drains and Gutters
During the build-up to Winter, debris such as leaves and twigs can build up inside the gutters and drains of your tenanted property, which can cause blockages, leaks, and overflows if allowed to build up. Winter months can make this worse by freezing the water. To prevent this from happening, you could invest in some gutter leaf guards and put in preventative measures such as employing a serviceman to check the drains and gutters regularly.
Having a Good Relationship with Your Tenants
We understand that each landlord/tenant relationship is different and is formed under varying circumstances; however, if you can, it is worth your while to try and maintain a good relationship with your tenant. If you maintain a good relationship, it means they’ll be more likely to help you keep your property in good condition and let you know if anything’s wrong. You can make sure of this by making sure they have all the relevant property details. For instance, they’d need your contact details, the location of the stopcock, an emergency plan in case of heavy snow or rain, or any security issues they need to be aware of in case they went away for a while.