The next few months will see properties up and down the country exposed to more snow, ice, rain and wind, significantly increasing the chance of property damage.
As West Lothian’s first dedicated letting agency, we have been through many long and cold winters. Therefore, we’ve come up with some advice that will hopefully assist you in maintaining the condition of your Buy-to-Let property over the next few months.
One of the most important things to look out for, and potentially one of the biggest problems, is damp and mould. Any glimpse of a damp patch or the slightest sighting of mould is sure to upset your tenants and could cause serious long-term damage to your property (that’s not to mention the health risks).
Condensation is the principal cause of damp and when windows are closed for the majority of the time it becomes increasingly more frequent. We always remind tenants to maintain air circulation to reduce condensation. If tenants do report a damp or mould sighting, this is one of the best examples of an issue that should be dealt with immediately to avoid a large-scale problem in the future.
It is also beneficial during these months – and all year round for that matter – to check your pipes, drains and gutters on a regular basis. Make sure none of them are blocked – leaves are the main problem here. When it comes to pipes, look for cracks and leaks and again, any blockages here can cause problems if the water freezes.
Another thing to consider is insulation. Check that your current insulation is still intact and working effectively. And if you haven’t got any at all, we would strongly advise getting some (especially in the loft). Many providers offer free quotes/appraisals and some even offer free installation.
As Christmas approaches and some of your tenants may be going ‘home’ for the festivities, it can be a good time to go in to the house and carry out any property repairs that need doing as well checking over all the things detailed above.
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) suggests that tenants are provided with a ‘survival kit’ for the winter months, something that we would second. This could include a torch, useful phone numbers and more.
The organisation has also recently highlighted the importance of landlords fully understanding their landlord insurance policy, so they know what’s covered and what they’re responsible for during the winter months. If you require any assistance or advice on landlord insurance for your rental properties, here at letting solutions we would be delighted to help.
If you are thinking about letting a property, find out how much it could fetch in monthly rents using our online free property valuation tool. You can contact us on: 0845 520 1420. Our sister company, Property Extra, can advise upon, or implement, any works to protect your property this winter. Get in touch on: 0844 573 2542.