Many landlords worry about whether their valuable investments will hold up to the low temperatures, heavy rain, strong winds, and snow that are inevitable at this time of year. It is important to make sure that these properties are fit for purpose this season and your agents should be guiding accordingly.
Here are 5 tips that Mount & Minster advise in the run-up to winter:
1. External Inspection
Check all outside walls, windows, doors and roof for damages and any signs of weakness where the elements can penetrate. Replace any cracked tiles and inspect chimney pots, fitting ventilated cowls to unused chimneys.
2. Test the Heating
Ensure the boiler has been serviced for winter and all the pipes and radiators checked for leaks and bled where necessary. This is just as important if your property is lying empty. If the property is vacant, make sure that you arrange to drain the system down, along with all hot and cold water pipes.
Check that your loft insulation is up to current standards. If not, Mount & Minster can help you with grants that are available to their clients which can massively reduce the cost of insulating your investment property, and help attract a better tenant willing to pay more for a cheaper house to run. Consider cavity wall insulation, double or secondary glazing, and lagging pipes in void spaces.
4. Flood Risk
Be aware of burst pipes. They can cause significant flooding and serious damage to a property Protect exterior pipes with insulation sleeves if possible. Mount & Minster have contractors who carry out such measures for all our clients if requested.
5. Paving Slabs
Water on paving slabs will freeze in suitable (or unsuitable!) conditions. This can be dangerous and raise insurance issues and possible compensation claims against private landlords if someone injures themselves on the ice. It is important therefore to ensure that all paving is well-drained so that it avoids the collection of water that will stand and freeze, creating treacherous conditions.