Protect Your Rental Property This Winter

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Winter weather, particularly flooding, can cause real and structural damage to a property. Not only will your tenants be forced out of their home, but you will have to claim on your landlord insurance. You may find that if your actions or inactions caused the issue, you could be liable for some, or all, of the repairs.

If you know that your tenants will be away over the holiday season, it is vital that you protect your property to avoid any winter-related damage.

With this in mind, follow these tips and arrange an inspection with your tenants, before it’s too late!

  1. Check the lagging in your loft

Head up to the loft and check the lagging around the water pipes and cold water storage tank. Even small gaps could let in cold air and freeze the pipes, or even the water in the tank. If there are pipes in the attic, eaves and cupboards, they are typically more exposed and are prone to freezing.

  1. Leave the central heating on permanently

This is something that you should advise your tenants to do – leave the central heating on at a minimum temperature of 15°C to protect against damp and condensation. Fitting thermostatic valves to the radiators will allow you (and your tenants) to set the valves so that the radiator comes on when the temperature falls below a certain level. This enables the heating to be kept on low without having to heat the entire house all of the time.

  1. Lag the pipes

Alongside leaving the central heating on low permanently, lagging the pipes will prevent them freezing.

  1. Check the property when it is empty

If your tenants will be away over Christmas, check the property when they are out. The main cause of a burst pipe is if they have frozen, and if this isn’t noticed early enough, water damage to the fabric of the property could occur due to leaks, causing significant damage.

  1. Seal holes in walls

Wherever a cable or phone line comes through the exterior wall, check to ensure the hole is sufficiently sealed to stop cold air getting in or warm air escaping.

  1. Leave cold taps dripping

If the property will be unoccupied for a period of time, leave at least one cold tap dripping slightly on each floor. Even the slightest of drips can reduce the risk of water freezing significantly inside the pipes, but only leave taps on if you have a cold water storage tank and are not draining down the water system.

  1. Leave cupboard doors open

If the home is going to be empty, it is a good idea to leave any cabinet or cupboard doors open in the kitchen and bathroom, to allow warm air to reach any hidden pipes.

  1. Leave doors open

If your tenants are going away, suggest they leave the doors within the house open, to enable heat to circulate around the property. Also, leaving the loft hatch open will aid this.

  1. Drain the water system

If your tenants will be away for long periods, drain the water system. The water storage tanks (hot and cold) should be drained, as well as the radiators and central heating pipes.

  1. Insulate the overflow pipe from the boiler

Condensing boilers are known for their efficiency, but in the winter, there is a risk of their overflow pipes freezing and causing damage to the property. Avoid this by getting a boiler with a Siphon trap, which releases the water in one amount. Other ways to guard against a frozen overflow pipe is to insulate the pipe or simply shorten it, so there is not as much of the pipe exposed to the outsid.

  1. Check your insurance policy 

Ensure that your landlord insurance covers you for winter-related damage. If there is an emergency that must be repaired before causing further damage to the property, your policy must cover this so that work can be completed as soon as possible. If the home becomes uninhabitable, make sure your policy covers loss of rent so that you don’t miss out on payments.

Happy Christmas!! :):)

Top tips for keeping your home sparkling this Christmas!

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Christmas is almost here. We’ve been gearing up for the big day for…well ages, let’s be honest! If you want to avoid the usual stress of the festive season, make sure you get your home sparkling clean with these helpful tips!

1. TREAT YOUR CARPETS

It can be all too easy to take your carpets for granted, but it’s worth remembering that they deal with an awful amount of footfall right from the moment they’re installed.

No matter how hard you clean your carpets, some dirt and dust will still linger. That’s why it’s worth investing in or hiring an industrial carpet cleaner to get your carpets looking brand new. Professional carpet cleaners normally come with a cleaning agent so that the material is shampooed while the dust is being sucked up.

2. CLEAN ALL SURFACES

Your counter tops will be in constant use over Christmas so ensure you make time to give them a good clean both before the big day and while you’re cooking. It’s vital to wipe surfaces after preparing your Christmas food as uncooked meats can leave germs and bacteria behind.

It’s also worth giving your shelves, chairs and furnishings a once-over to remove any stains or build-up of dust. The same goes for your dining table. A good polish can go a long way.

3. ORGANISE A PROFESSIONAL OVEN CLEAN

In preparation for the gastronomic delights that are going to be created in your kitchen this Christmas, it’s worth hiring a professional to come and give your oven a thorough clean. That way you can focus on the sumptuous snacks you’re going to serve your guests rather than going into battle against the grime and grease that have built up over the year.

4. HAVE A CLEAR OUT

It may not be the traditional time to have a clear-out but a thorough clean-up can provide much-needed space for your Christmas tree, presents and guests. It also lets you enter the New Year clutter-free.

Think to yourself, ‘Have I used this within the last six months?’ If not, consider throwing it out or donating it to charity. You’ll be surprised how much extra room a quick clean-out can give you.

5. CLEAN YOUR DECORATIONS

Christmas decorations spend most of their time hidden away in cupboards or dusty attics waiting for their five minutes of fame. But there’s no point getting your home spick and span for the festive season and then hanging up dirty and dusty decorations. Put aside some time to give them a good clean before hanging them up and they’ll soon look as good as new.

When going through your Christmas decorations, make sure that everything still works. Fairy lights, for example, have a certain shelf life and if one bulb goes the whole set sometimes won’t work. Test them before you decorate your tree to see if you need to invest in a new set.

With friends & family coming to visit throughout the festive season, make sure you show your home off to the fullest and enjoy some street free Christmas preparation…