HM Lettings' winter property checklist
HM Lettings have years of experience in the property market and, as a result of this, we understand the pressures of being a landlord. Our professional approach to lettings and management ensures we are able to match the right tenant to the right property, quickly. Today, we have some advice for you that you could pass on to your tenants in order for them to take the best care of your property they can during winter. It's also beneficial for them as they'll be comfortable and warm and they could limit the problems that winter can bring to property maintenance.
Our supplier of online repairs reporting software, Fixflo have recommended these fives areas for tenants (and landlords!) to check.
Here at HM Lettings, we use the Fixflo app to allow tenants to report maintenance issues 24/7 and resolve issues through in-built advice. Here are the checks to do to limit these issues in the first place.
1. Heating checks
Tenants can undertake some simple checks to make sure the heating in their property is ready for winter. Remember, gas safety certificates need to be valid and updated annually as a legal requirement so as a landlord it is your responsibility to sort this for your tenants. Make sure to check with your Property Manager if the certificate has expired.
- Check the boiler pilot light is on
- Fireplaces and chimneys should have been cleaned before you moved in. But if you are a resident for an extended period of time, you may need to get them cleaned. Depending on your contract this might fall as your responsibility.
- Check radiators are working correctly. If you need to bleed radiators you can either do this yourself or request a professional to do it for you
Your insulation needs to be efficient to enable you to keep the heat in, essentially, inefficient insulation means lost heat and lost money.
- Check draught proof covers around letterboxes and keyholes
- Check door and window frames for damage and arrange repair if necessary
3. Garden upkeep
In the winter months, gardens and outside areas tend to become neglected. To minimise damage to the property, the garden and any equipment or garden appliances, you should;
- Trim bushes and prune trees
- Rake up any fallen leaves
- Put away any equipment or outside furniture just in case of storm damage
4. Property exterior
The beginning of the autumn and winter months are a good opportunity to check the property before the wet or cold weather properly sets in.
- Check for peeling paint, which can be a sign of moisture penetrating the building
- Check pipes, drains and guttering are properly fixed and make sure they’re clear to prevent blockages
- Winter is a good time to clean windows, once again you might need to hire someone to do this
- Make sure vents are not obstructed by leaves or mulch
- Check exterior lights are working correctly before dark nights properly set in
These quick checks will make sure your water will still be flowing during the winter months.
- Make sure pipes are insulated, especially pipes in the loft or outside the premises as these are more likely to freeze which can cause problems such as flooding
- Make sure you know where the stopcock is and is working so you can quickly turn off the water should you need to.
- Make sure pipes are clear to ensure you have a good flow of water to the property
HM Lettings offering
With the fully managed service that HM Lettings offers, landlords receive two inspection visits a year to their property or properties and will be notified of the outcome of this visit.
As a landlord you should also be aware of the Fitness for Human Habitation Act, introduced on 20th March 2019 which requires that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation. It is the Landlords' responsibility to ensure works and repairs are conducted throughout the tenancy in a timely manner in order to maintain compliance with the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation).
Have you got a property to let? Get in touch with HM Lettings today.
HM Lettings are members of ARLA Propertymark (the UK’s foremost professional and regulatory body for letting agents and their Client Money Protection Scheme) and The Property Ombudsman (TPO).
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