Landlords have a duty of care to tenants, and part of this involves ensuring their properties are weather-proof and safe to live in. With a big winter chill rapidly bearing down on us, now’s the time to prepare your rental property for the cold months. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Service your boiler
We have to start with this one because it’s essential. If the boiler doesn’t work correctly, then your risk leaving your tenants with no central heating or hot water. It won’t cost that much to do, and it gives you peace of mind knowing that your boiler works, so your tenants can be warm this winter.
2. Protect the water pipes
Water pipes often fall victim to cracks or bursts during winter. This is because the cold weather freezes them, and cracks appear. To prevent this – and the corresponding water damage – inspect all of your piping. Get some insulative pipe jackets to protect them as well – it stops them from freezing over.
3. Inspect the roof
Most heat will escape the home via the roof. All it takes is a small crack or hole to lose out on a lot of heat. As a consequence, tenants will likely put their heating on full-blast, or be stuck in the cold all winter. Not to mention the possibility of leaks in the roof if it rains or snows. So, head up to the attic and inspect your roof from the inside. Go up during the day and cover any windows. Your attic should be pitch black – any beams of light show that there are cracks or holes in the roof letting the light through. Get them fixed, and your rental property will be better equipped for the winter.
4. Inspect the windows & doors
Again, lots of heat can escape through cracks in your windows and doors. Get someone in to conduct a full inspection – it costs under £200. They’ll make sure everything is in perfect condition, and any damaged sealing can be repaired. Once more, this keeps your property nice and warm.
5. Clear out the guttering
So many loose leaves get blown into your guttering over winter. When it rains, these leaves can block up your gutters and cause severe water damage. The same happens to any drains outside the house – it can sometimes cause flooding. So, make sure all of the guttering and drains are cleared and unblocked.
6. Consider replacing the insulation
Depending on how old your rental property is, it might need some new insulation for winter. Old and outdated insulation can lead to a loss of heat in the home. Get an expert in to take a look at your current situation and see if your insulation should be replaced. If it does, then it’s a worthwhile investment to keep your tenants comfortable in the cold.
7. Clean out the chimney
If you have a fireplace, then it will probably be roaring throughout winter. As such, make sure you clean out the chimney to prevent fires. It’s under £100 to get this done professionally, which is a fraction of the cost of trying to rectify fire damage!
8. Check & bleed your radiators
Lastly, get a plumber to bleed all your radiators and give them a detailed inspection. Bleeding improves the efficiency of each one, which basically makes the central heating work better. If the checks show that some radiators need to be replaced, then get that done right away.
Follow these tips to prepare your rental property for this winter and keep your tenants happy. If you’re looking for help managing your rental properties, then contact SmartSpace today for the best solutions!