To have a business that runs well you have to invest in it. That could be training your team or investing in IT solutions to help you keep a healthy business that grows and is profitable. Having a letting portfolio is no different- you need to invest time to check for the basics in order to have longer tenancies. Planning in works is a lot better than being hit with costs when you least want them or when you don’t expect them.
Here are my 7 top tips for winter to protect your property and help with that future planning
1. Check windows & doors for draughts – broken windows are a no brainier
But a top tip is to check for draughts as these will be more obvious this time of year. The usual cause of gaps is broken latches, which can be easily sorted and will have the benefit of reducing heating bills.
2. Blocked gutters & drains – from leaves and moss build up in gutters
If these aren’t regularly cleared, rainwater, ice and snow can cause serious damage, cracking and overflows, which can also lead to damp. A good time to check this is to visit your property when it rains as it is far easier to see where the blockage is.
3. Boilers – after washing machines and dishwashers, boilers are one of the most common appliances that go wrong.
We usually start boiler checks in September by asking our residents to test the boiler. Why? If there is an issue after reduced use in summer, we are going to be first in the queue to get things sorted with our contractors.
4. Radiators – winter is a good time to test how efficiently your radiators are working.
Heat should come from every part of the appliance. If it is not – something needs to be done. Whilst checking the radiators, it’s a good time to also check that you have thermostatic valves. Not only to thermostatic valves allow easier control over the heat output, another benefit of this is to increase the EPC level of the home – something that will most probably be very important by 2025.
5. Damp and mildew – if your resident is not airing the property properly or switching on extractors.
This is the time of year it will become apparent. Left unchecked, it can become a serious issue in the property and on the health of your residents (albeit self-inflicted). We give our residents an information sheet on how to avoid condensation by opening windows, using extractors and wiping down surfaces after cooking, washing and cleaning. Checking in the bathroom or corners of bedrooms in winter will tell you if you have a problem and that’s when you need to have, what we call, the ‘condensation conversation’.
6. Damaged roofs – broken tiles and holes can cause draughts and lead to damp.
Whist checking for condensation, as above, add looking for damp patches on the ceiling. Roof contractors are busier this time of year, so again getting your request in sooner rather than later will reduce future damage.
7. Fallen trees – risk of damage to your property and others’
If your property is surrounded by trees, these will need pruning year-round to prevent issues occurring during the winter months. In high winds, rotten branches and weak timber can damage fences, roofs and cars. They also cause a safety risk to your residents.
Got any questions?
We are always happy to answer your queries, but why not take a look at our Landlord FAQ’s section to see if this has the answer you are looking for.
If you would like a conversation with the team, just give us a call on 01480 494939 or email [email protected]