Top tips for looking after your rental property this winter
Winter can be tough on properties, especially during harsh periods of wet and windy, or frosty weather. Landlords need to make sure they’re on top of their properties’ maintenance throughout the winter months, otherwise they could face some costly repair bills, not to mention grumpy, and most likely cold, tenants!
We’ve put together our top tips for helping to maintain your rental property this winter.
1. Make sure the boiler has been serviced
Unfortunately, boilers have a nasty habit of breaking down during winter if they’re not looked after properly! The cold weather means your property’s boiler will be working overtime and therefore the likelihood of anything going wrong will increase. If you haven’t already, make sure to get your boiler serviced and let your tenants know who to call if anything goes wrong.
2. Clear the gutters
At this time of year, gutters are likely to be filled with leaves which have fallen throughout Autumn and, left alone, they can cause nasty blockages. These blockages can then cause leaks and further damage to your property. It’s a good idea to arrange for regular gutter and drainage maintenance throughout the year to avoid any build ups, something which your agent should be able to organise for you.
3. Check the roofing
It’s always a good idea to check for broken or missing roof tiles at this time of year, especially on older properties. Stormy weather can cause damage to roofs and just one or two missing tiles will create problems over time – prevention will most definitely be cheaper than the cure! It goes without saying that this can be a dangerous task, so always make sure to use a professional roofing specialist, rather than trying to investigate yourself!
4. Keep the heating on during void periods
If your property becomes empty during the winter months, even for a couple of weeks, we would always advise making sure your heating is on for at least a couple of hours each day. Not only can this help to keep any damp at bay, it also makes the property much more welcoming when showing prospective tenants around. A freezing cold property can be a real turn off at viewings and won’t help to make the property feel homely!
5. Check your insurance policy
Winter is a good time to check the insurance policy for your property. Make sure it includes winter weather damage such as flooding and burst pipes, so you’re covered if the worst happens. If you do need to make a claim, be mindful that the insurance company will need to see that the damage has been caused by extreme weather conditions, rather than poor maintenance – another reason to make sure you keep everything in order.
6. Talk to your letting agent
Depending on the level of property management service you have chosen, any good, local agent should be taking care of these things for you to ensure your property remains safe, dry and warm throughout the winter months.
At Hudson Moody, we always take a pro-active, rather than reactive approach carrying out regular property maintenance checks throughout the year to ensure we pick up any maintenance issues before they become a problem.
If you would like further advice on keeping your rental property maintained this winter, please give our dedicated lettings team a call on 01904 629629.