As the nights draw in and it’s getting colder, it’s that time of year when if you’re a landlord you should be thinking about some winter jobs that might need attending to at your rental property, to ensure that your tenants are safe, happy and comfortable.
The seven jobs below are all things that can help landlords prepare for winter…
Clear out your gutters
Falling autumn leaves may look pretty at first glance, but they can prove to be a costly nuisance for landlords if left to pile up.
Most damagingly, they collect in gutters and drains, which in turn causes blockages. Clearing them out as regularly as you can will help avoid any overflows and subsequent water damage.
Turn off the supply to outside water pipes
We all know pipes can freeze in the winter, but they’re something that’s easily overlooked – before you know it, the temperature drops below zero and you’re dealing with the repair bill for split and burst pipes.
If your property’s going to be empty for a while for any reason, you can reduce the risk of this happening by turning off the stop valve inside the property and then opening the tap on the outside of the property. This releases water in the pipe and allows any remaining water space to expand if it freezes, avoiding a pipe split.
Bleed your radiators
It sounds obvious, but one reason a property is often cold is because the radiators just don’t work properly, most commonly because they need to be bled.
The process involves releasing any trapped air from the system, allowing hot water to fill every part of the radiator and warm the property more efficiently.
Get a boiler service
It’s good practice to get your boiler serviced every year, and by doing this you’ll highlight any issues that may have gone undetected over the summer months when the heating isn’t on, and is another thing landlords can prepare for winter.
Make sure your roof is in good repair
Winter is also a good time to check the roof of your rental property, looking out for broken tiles, issues with pointing and rendering, and cracks in the chimney, if you have one.
If you spot anything wrong you’ll need to get it fixed, as otherwise water may come in during heavy rains, or weak spots in the roof could buckle under heavy snow. A decent roofer can help you identify and fix issues.
Check your insurance policy
A standard landlord insurance policy may not cover things like maintenance call outs, so it’s always worth considering a review of your policy to add covers like landlord home emergency or landlord boiler breakdown.
Talk to your tenants
Maintaining a good relationship with your tenants means they’ll be more likely to help you keep your property in good condition, and let you know if anything’s wrong over the winter period.
Make sure they have all the details they need about the property, including the location of the stopcock in case they need to turn the water supply at any point.