Preparation for the Winter
Landlord’s need to consider how to protect their properties and tenants from the effects of the oncoming cold snaps and wet weather.
Making sure landlords consider what effects the winter weather has on their investment and its inhabitants is crucial to protect their investment and their pockets. Being proactive and preparing for the wind,rain and lower temperatures is recommended by Edison Ford Maintenance manager Mark Phillips. Mark says “prevention is better than cure when it comes to making good your property for winter. Make sure you look top to bottom, inside and outside for any potential leaks and hazards��? Here are Mark’s suggested steps to help you and your tenants prepare your property:-
1. Carry out regular inspections to look at the internal and external condition of the property. At Edison Ford Property Management and Lettings, they carry out systematic inspections on their management properties that coincide with tenancy renewals. As well as tenants care of the property, they look at the general condition. Indeed, sometimes the staff do make recommendations to rectify issues immediately as well as giving suggestions to “keep an eye��? on potential problems. Edison Ford maintenance also provide free quotations for works and if you have something you’d like us to quote for, please click this link www.edisonfordrepairs.co.uk
2. Pay close attention to the condition of the roof to avoid any leaks. Blocked and damaged gutters can also be a hazard causing overflowing water which, if left unseen to, can potentially lead to water seeping into the brickwork and causing internal damp. Broken are also worth replacing as this will protect against the windy weather.
3. Insulation,insulation, insulation; Loft insulation, as well as cavity wall insulation if able to fit, are very important for keeping your house warmer, makes your house more energy efficient (very important on EPC’s as from 2018 your rental property must be above an F rating) and can help keep energy bills lower. You should also check that all pipes and tanks are adequately insulated to prevent splits and bursts. For information on the EPC change in 2018, it can be viewed on Edison Ford’s September article: https://edisonfordproperty.co.uk/articles/62/landlords-are-you-aware-of-the-provision-for-minimum-energy-standards.html
4. Check that all drains, gutters and soakaways are clear of leaves and debris. This would be the tenant’s responsibility under their obligation to care for the external of the property but a little reminder during an inspection can never hurt.
5. ,Is your property currently vacant? Can you or the managing agent set the properties heating on a timer and keep the property ventilated through the colder months? Making sure the property has good heating and ventilation reduces the likelihood of damp occurring in the property. Plus during darker days and nights, a presence at the property increases the security – noticing that doors and windows remain secure as well as spotting any size 10 prints in the snow makes sure the house stays safe.
6. Are your tenants planning to go away over the festive season? Again, if they are leaving the property vacant, suggest that they either leave the heating on a low temperature or set timers. Maybe they could also ask a family member or close friend to pop into the property, closing and opening curtains and switching on different lights.
7. Can your tenants contact you and/or the managing agent in an emergency? At Edison Ford they supply all our tenants with our Christmas opening hours as well as an emergency contact telephone number.
Following all or some of the steps above can certainly help keep your property protected against the winter weather, though even with the best precautions, damage can occur should the weather be unexpected and severe. You can also protect yourself by ensuring you have a comprehensive landlord’s insurance policy. You can speak with Brett or Steve at our Edison Ford Insurance broker on 01454 322266 or visit their website www.edisonfordinsure.co.uk.
If you would like further information or guidance on your property, please feel free to call Mark Phillips and the team on 01454 316718.