With the recent cold snap comes advice to help landlords winter-proof
their properties in a bid to protect them from plunging temperatures.
The offering from Simple Landlords Insurance is to help landlords avoid a
phone call from a worried tenant informing them of an emergency.
The firm says that by winter-proofing their property, a landlord will save
money, time and lots of hassle.
These are the steps they recommend to help avoid becoming a victim of a
winter property disaster.
Prevent burst pipes
Burst pipes account for one in five insurance claims from landlords with
falling temperatures causing frozen water to burst a pipe.
This happens most often when a property is left empty over winter and the
heating is switched off.
The water will then freeze and expand within the pipe which will then, when
the weather warms up, crack and burst the pipe.
The insurance firm says landlords should help prevent burst pipes by asking
their tenants to keep their heating on at night at low temperatures
particularly if they go away on holiday.
Should they have a leak, the tenant should report this immediately and the
landlord should arrange a repair.
Check the heating
It's one thing asking tenants to keep the heating on at night but the
landlord should ensure their heating is in working order and they should
install extra insulation, draught excluders and bleed the radiators.
Landlords should also have a Gas Safe registered engineer check that the
boiler works properly before temperatures fall.
Check your insurance
It's always worth ensuring that the landlord’s insurance policy is still
valid, particularly if they don't live near to their rental property or
they are going to be unavailable for a period.
It may also be worth adding home emergency cover to the landlord’s policy.
Weatherproof the roof
With winter come strong storms which means a rental property’s roof may be
subject to wind and storm damage.
However, an insurance policy will only cover this damage if the rental
property has been reasonably maintained by the landlord.
Essentially, for winds below 52 mph, it's unlikely that a well-maintained
property will be damaged so if your rental property has old fencing or
loose ridge tiles they may not be covered by your insurance.
Check the gutters
While looking at the roof, landlords should clear their rental property
gutters of debris, particularly in cold months since those that do not
drain properly can cause lots of problems.
Not only can they damage the property's foundations with water running down
the property’s external walls but also lead to penetrating damp and rot.
By taking these simple steps, Simple Landlords Insurance says all
landlords will be able to pre-empt an expensive bill but they also need
to ensure that their insurance policy covers them for a wide range of