As a landlord, it is important that you look after your property all year round; however, winter is a particularly vulnerable time for many homes and is the time when insurance claims are at their highest. Here are some top tips to safeguard your rental property this winter.
Check the pipes
When the weather turns colder, it can play havoc with pipework – particularly pipes outside or in the attic. Water can freeze in pipes, which may cause them to burst. This is not just expensive to repair but can also be a huge inconvenience to you and your tenants. Make sure that you protect the pipework with lagging. According to Scottish Water, you should leave your heating on, using a low setting, if the temperature drops below 6°C to prevent pipes freezing.
Check the drains
Winter storms can cause drains to overflow, so make sure they are not clogged up with debris before the harsh weather kicks in. Also check the gutters, which may need clearing of autumn leaves.
Refresh the decor
You will want to refresh the decor of your home before winter as there are several things you can do that will prevent damp coming through like special damp proofing paint. You could get advice on what is best from a Cheltenham Decorators firm who will give you advice to suit you at sites like http://jsdecorating.co.uk/.
Service the boiler
As a landlord, you are obliged to ensure the boiler you provide is in good working order. An annual service is an important part of this task. Repairs can be costly, so a regular service can identify any minor problems that can be rectified before they turn into more expensive affairs. Look for a provider that provides cheap landlords insurance but ensures you are covered for the most essential aspects.
Check security alarms and lights
Your tenants want to feel safe and secure in your property. To minimise the risk of it getting burgled during the darker months, it pays to ensure the security alarms and motion lights work efficiently. It is also a good idea to check that the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working within the property.
Insulate the property
If your rental property is poorly insulated, this can increase the energy bills that you or your tenants have to pay. This is not favourable to anyone, so make sure the dwelling is as draught-proof as possible. Although it will cost you to have double glazed doors or windows fitted, or loft insulation, these are worthwhile investments to make; after all, tenants will quickly move on if they find their home is expensive to keep warm.