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posted on 14 Nov 19 by Jayde

Get Your Rental Property Ready For Winter – A Landlord’s Guide

Blog | Guides | Get Your Rental Property Ready For Winter – A Landlord’s Guide

Carrying out these simple routine checks can mean Landlords avoid expensive repairs during the winter.

With this year’s winter fast approaching (and it’s forecasted to be a cold one) we need to be prepared and ensure your tenants are not left out in the cold.

Emergencies lead to rehousing residents which are particularly expensive in the festive period – a cost you will want to avoid. Take a look at our guide to ensuring your rental property is as winter-proof as possible – prevention is better than cure!

If you’re a tenant looking to ready your home over winter, see our tailored guide here instead.

1. Boilers

Boilers need to be checked by a qualified professional every year. If you have a gas boiler, it will need to be looked over by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If you have an electric boiler, an electrician will be fine.

There will be an inspection cost, but in the long-term, identifying and addressing issues before they cause bigger problems will inevitably save you money. We strongly recommend you carry out a boiler service every year. 

Depending on the condition or age of the boiler, it may be time to think about a replacement. Although this may seem like a prominent up-front cost, emergency callouts and interim fix expenses will soon add up. As a responsible investor, keeping your property up to date not only benefits your residents but also saves you money in the longer term. The ‘Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018’ means that if your boiler should fail (as over 30% did last winter), you are required to arrange repair within a reasonable amount of time, no matter the cost.

In a world where tenants are much better informed, they often ask the age of the boiler during viewings. A new boiler will not only help keep current residents happy but will also make your investment property a worthwhile venture for years to come.

2. External Building Works

Make sure you’re paying attention to any communications or bills your block management companies send to you. It’s your responsibility to respond in a timely fashion to ensure they can action any works needed. 

3. Condensation and Mould

Although we do our best to educate your tenants on how they can avoid condensation and mould, there are a few things you can do to help them out.

Installing or upgrading extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms can significantly reduce the risk of mould formation. Cooking, washing clothes and bathing all produce high levels of moisture – so give your property the best chance of avoiding condensation by providing adequate ventilation. We have found automatic extractor fans (ones that turn on with the light) are best as tenants can’t forget to turn them on!

Modern and effective heating systems are needed if you want to avoid condensation and mould. Check that each room has the right quantity of quality radiators or heaters to get the temperature up even on the coldest of days.

If you are able, updating your insulation can also help improve heating within the property; however, this isn’t always possible in apartments, so always check with the building managers.

The air-drying of clothes is one of the biggest culprits for causing condensation in city centre apartments. Providing your tenants with adequately sized driers, or washer-dryers will mean they can avoid using drying-racks in the apartment.

4. Insurance

Now is an excellent time to review the inclusions in your landlord insurance policy. Leaving this to chance would likely leave you wishing you had spent 10 minutes reading through the policy small print. Don’t have a policy? Get one now before you’re left regretting that decision.

We have had great feedback from our landlords who have used SJL Insurance. You can get a personalized quote from them by clicking here. *

Assessing whether your property is in good shape to survive the winter now before the first bout of cold weather hits Birmingham, will give you enough time to rectify anything that could go wrong before it becomes an emergency.

As always, if you have any questions or need some help making your property winter-ready, contact your account manager by calling 0121 366 0456 and pressing option 1.

If you’re not a FleetMilne landlord, and your agent isn’t prepping your property for winter, maybe it’s time to think about moving management. You can read all about our services here.

*FleetMilne are introducer appointed representatives for SJL insurance.

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