Preparing your rental property for winter

From Robert Ulph on October 25, 2021

As the weather starts to turn colder it is important to avoid any related issues with your rental property that could cause problems and lead to costly repairs. There are some checks your tenants can do themselves and others that landlords will need to make sure are all in place. If, as landlord, you do need access, remember to keep an eye on any changing restrictions to ensure that visiting the property isn’t an issue and when you speak with your tenant to make arrangements make sure they are not self-isolating and that nobody involved has any symptoms of COVID-19. Social distancing, extra hand washing and sanitising, and wearing a mask are all still advisable once inside the property too.

It’s good practice to get your boiler serviced annually and it is important to keep on top of this, for your tenants’ warmth and their hot water, and keeping your property in good condition. As long as your tenant is not self-isolating, they can allow a plumber into the property to check the boiler works efficiently and do any work that is needed.

If your tenants are feeling cold despite having a working boiler, it could mean that the radiators need bleeding. Bleeding the radiators doesn’t need to be a big job and it will make sure the pipes in your property are being heated properly when the temperature drops. 

Doors and windows will not be open as much in colder weather, but increased condensation can cause damp, so ventilation is important especially in more humid areas such as the kitchen and bathroom, so ensure that extractor fans are working properly.

For security over the longer, darker nights, check that any burglar alarms and security lights are working properly at your property. A visible alarm can still be a good deterrent, but some insurance policies are dependent on a fully working burglar alarm for cover.

Outside the property too, keep gutters clear as leaves and blockages can lead to leaks and water damage or even broken gutters, so it’s important to keep them clear from any debris to minimise the risk. Wet and cold weather leads to slippery drives and icy steps, but this can also lead to cracks in pathways which may cause trip hazards. To prevent this, it’s best to stay on top of any existing cracks and have them repaired sooner rather than later.

Most importantly check that your insurance is up to date and check the policy gives sufficient protection for any weather-related damage particularly to your boiler and roof. 

At Pennington we can help landlords with these checks and for those who have fully managed properties with us, regular inspections also can make sure that your property is weather-proof for whatever the winter months bring.

If you have questions on this or require any advice on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me as I am always happy to help.