As well as avoiding larger repairs and maintenance costs, proactive landlords can ensure that their tenants feel safe and secure – which will be extremely influential when their tenancy renewal arrives.
There are five easy steps that landlords can and should take – as highlighted by Property Reporter:
1. Take a Look Outside – catching any external problems quickly can avoid bigger, more costly damage. From walls to rooves, windows to doors… and checking for any overflowing gutters, make sure that your property is ready to stand up to the elements.
2. Feel the Heat - 46% of those asked by British Gas were worried about the heating or hot water failing during the colder months. Check that boiler services have been completed and pipes and radiators are leak-free. If your property is currently empty, consider draining down your complete heating system. Lastly, if you are not based near to your rental property, consider emergency cover for breakdowns. Your tenants will appreciate it!
3. Insulation – Property Reporter advises that you: “Check that your loft insulation is up to current standards and, depending on location, grants may be available to upgrade it.” It continues: “Consider cavity wall insulation, double or secondary glazing, and lagging pipes in void spaces. To reduce draughts, making living conditions more comfortable for those in the property, check pointing of door and window frames, apply sealant to skirting boards and fill gaps in wooden floors.” This sound advice will protect your property and reduce heating bills.
4. Pre-Empt Flooding Risks – 10% of people have winter worries about burst pipes. Protect exterior pipes with insulation sleeves if possible to help prevent flooding risks.
5. Outside Paving – reduce the risk of hazardous walkways and potential compensation claims by ensuring that all paving is well-drained and does not collect water.
“Many people worry about whether their home will withstand freezing temperatures, heavy rain and potential snow,” says Jason Dyer of JTM Homes. “In a rental property, this is the responsibility of the landlord. If in doubt about your legal responsibilities, please ask – our specialist lettings team is here to help.”