Online lettings platform lettingaproperty.com is urging landlords to get their properties ready for winter, issuing advice on how to tackle lettings during the colder months.
“Preparing a rental property for winter can prevent problems cropping up throughout the colder months. Doing so can deliver a more positive experience for renters while helping landlords to avoid unexpected bills and disruptive, stressful emergencies,” said, Jonathan Daines, Founder and CEO, lettingaproperty.com
The lettingaproperty.com team’s advice spans boilers, radiators, pipes and more – all of which have the potential to be major headaches if something goes wrong. As a failsafe measure, the company advises landlords to take out Home Emergency Cover – available through its own letting plans – but also recommends taking steps to prevent issues before they escalate.
For boilers, the team advises booking a service at the start of winter (in addition to the legally required annual check) to ensure that everything is working as it should be. This can head off expensive callout charges – and long wait times – by ensuring the boiler is less likely to break down as demand for its services increases during the colder months. Landlords should also ensure that outside flues aren’t blocked and that a carbon monoxide detector is fitted to warn renters if there is a leak.
Bleeding radiators is another important part of winter rental property prep. Un-bled radiators may feel cooler at the bottom than they do at the top, due to air being trapped in the system. This leads to them operating inefficiently and potentially costing the renter more to heat their home. Bleeding only takes a few minutes, so should be done at the start of every winter, according to the lettingaproperty.com team.
Protecting pipes is also important. Zurich UK found that the average cost of repairing water damage caused by burst pipes rose to £12,791 in 2022 – up from £8,663 in 2021. Meanwhile, the Association of British Insurers observed a 15% increase in claims relating to the escape of water in 2022 compared to the previous year (likely due to families keeping their heating off for longer due to elevated energy costs).
There are simple steps that can help avoid pipes bursting, from lagging them to using stop valves to drain pipes running to outdoor taps. Landlords of vacant properties should also be sure to keep the heating on, ideally no lower than about 12°C, to reduce the risk of burst pipes. It’s also important to check in on vacant properties every couple of days, to keep an eye out for condensation, damp and black mould.
“Responsible property management is always important, but it takes on added urgency as temperatures plummet. We would advise any landlord who isn’t proactively preparing their rental properties for winter to start doing so as soon as possible,” Daines added.
For more information, please visit www.lettingaproperty.com or call 0333 577 8888.