A rental property is bound to have an abundance of maintenance and repair needs. Tenants are always pestering landlords for different kinds of repairs. Sometimes, it is a leaky faucet and other times, the garbage disposal refuses to comply. And then, the worst of repairs that all landlords regard as nightmares, mold, mildew and water damages.
Did you know that each new season brings its own distinctive set of repairs? That’s right, and it is important to address seasonal repairs without delay to ensure a stress-free season with minimal maintenance expenses. Landlords are advised to adopt a proactive approach towards repairs and maintenance to prevent them from escalating into financial burdens.
A Proactive Approach
A proactive approach is focused on fixing problems before they even arise. Regular and seasonal maintenance ensures that all systems are working in pristine condition. As a landlord, regular maintenance will ensure that your asset is in good shape and does not have any major repairs or damages.
Many homeowners assume that problems are unlikely to occur, but ignoring and neglecting repairs will only cause them to aggravate. In a rental property, massive repairs will not only reduce the lifespan and value of your property. But also, it will make your tenants unhappy and unsatisfied.
Winter comes with strong chilly winds and snow, and the weather is extremely unforgiving on properties featuring weak spots and vulnerabilities. Freezing snow can cause pipes to explode, drains are blocked by a build-up of leaves and the roof starts to leak. Your tenants are likely to complain when the high winds arrive and the boilers are not working adequately.
It can prove extremely hard to find professionals when the weather gets extremely cold and the snow sets in. Carrying out winter maintenance and repairs before the season begins will help you avoid late-night emergency calls and last-minute repairs. It will also help you save a huge chunk of money by taking timely preventive measures.
Keep reading to take a closer look at the winter maintenance and repairs that require close attention.
Examine the Boiler
Maintaining and repairing the boiler is of the utmost important because it is a basic right demanded by all tenants. It is advisable to undertake an annual boiler service, scheduled in the start of fall. An experienced heating engineer or professional will help you maintain your boiler in safe and pristine condition.
It is important to note that an efficiently functioning boiler will help you reduce the overall energy consumption and bills. This will help you keep your tenants for a longer rental period. Be sure to get the boiler thoroughly serviced, alongside examining all the fittings and radiators. The professional must ensure that the central heating pumps and thermostats are working in order and safely. In winter, pipework tends to get damaged and vulnerable, but you can prevent this by examining the insulation, especially in rooms that experience extremely low temperatures.
If your rental property is vacant, it is ideal to eliminate the risk of pipe damages and prevent the damp form sneaking in by operating the heater at a low temperature.
Preventing Condensation & Leakages
It is instrumental to undertake a strong preventive strategy against condensation and leaks. Landlords are advised to be vigilant about examining the pipework and fittings of the central heating system. It is common for property owners to overlook common sources of leakages, such as blocked gutters, toilet cisterns, leaking faucets, overflowing water tanks and leaking roof tiles.
Any kind of leak, not matter how small or insignificant it is, can give birth to damp spots and mold emerging on the walls. If the leaks are serious, they can compromise the structure and cosmetic integrity of the property. It is vital to survey the tanks and ensure that all minor and major problems involving the taps and water pipes are fixed without delay.
Examining the roof is more difficult and it requires a professional to spot all the signs, such as water stains or broke tiles, which can cause leakages. Another sign to identify damp-related problems is condensation on the window. You will have to replace aged double glazing and ensure that extract fans in the bathrooms or kitchens are working adequately.
Landlords are strongly advised to schedule seasonal inspections of all the gas and electric appliances to ensure they are compliant with safety regulations. The months of December and January are notorious for house fires than any other months of the year. All landlords must take the initiative of installing fire and carbon monoxide alarms in their rental properties.
Arranging seasonal inspections will help you put together a robust winter maintenance strategy to ensure that your rental property is safe and compliant will all the regulations.
Many outdoor repairs and damages can blow up into extensive repairs if neglected during the cold months of winters. For instance, when the drains and gutters are heavily clogged with debris and fallen leaves, they can give birth to leakages and overflowing. The water can then damage your walls and even the structural foundation, which can lead to massive expenses in restoring the structure.
It is instrumental to clear out all the gutters and drains after the autumn fall season ends, and undertake regular inspections throughout the winter season. Tree pruning is another vital undertaking to prevent overhanging branches from damage the windows and walls during harsh winds and storms.
Landlords are strongly advised to examine their property insurance and see whether they offer coverage to overcome winter vulnerabilities. For instance, most general landlord insurance policies do not offer coverage for boiler insurance, but it can be obtained form a specialist provider. Your insurance policy might also not offer coverage for flat roof damages. Insurers are also reluctant to pay for windows damaged by overhanging trees.
It is instrumental to update your insurance policy and distribute a list of emergency contacts-plumbers, technicians, electricians and heating engineers, across your tenants so they can proactively in case of emergencies.