Is now the time for property health checks?
Autumn and winter mark a real change in how people live. Throughout the year, we get used to having the heating off and enjoying the slightly warmer weather conditions. But it all changes around October time, when the temperature drops, wind rises and the rain starts to batter down. And that’s only the start of it, with winter bringing snow, ice and other challenging weather with it and meaning tenants have to wrap up, switch on the central heating and stay cosy inside.
Houses and flats themselves also have to deal with the weather conditions as well, though. Winter, and autumn, present challenges for buildings to deal with, including high winds, cold snaps and heavy rainfall, so it’s always good to make sure ahead of autumn and winter’s arrival, homes have what it takes to stand up to the incoming weather. For rented properties, this responsibility falls on letting agents. Here, we take a look at a few places letting agents should be looking to check out before the bad weather really starts to show itself from next month.
Leaks and damp
No matter how well someone looks after their property, leaks, water damage and damp can become an issue, but it’s something that can be dealt with as long as you make sure to address the issue early. If your tenant is reporting an area of damp, or a leak in the property, you will want to make sure it’s fixed before autumn and winter. Heavy rainfall is a real problem later in the year, and the last thing you want is a house being flooded when the roof may have been patched up earlier.
It’s also worth looking at the guttering on your properties to make sure it’s not potentially causing a very avoidable problem. If your gutters are blocked by leaves and other debris, something that can get worse when the leaves start dropping off trees in autumn, then water can’t escape, and build ups of rainfall can allow water into the home, causing real damage and leaving mountains of repair bills. It’s always good, for this reason, to check that gutters are in good health before the weather starts to turn.
The cold snap, or at least the worst of it, may still be a couple of months away, but that’s no reason to wait to make sure rental properties are ready to deal with the conditions. Cold weather can cause real problems for homes, with freezing conditions causing pipes to freeze, and when they defrost, flood the property. As a letting agent, this can be a costly disaster, so it’s always best to ensure houses and flats are ready for the cold.
All it can take is to ensure that pipes have been insulated against the cold to ensure they don’t freeze solid at the first sign of winter, and also to have a word with your tenants to let them know that they have a responsibility to look after the home. Let them know that they should have the heating on, even when they’re not home, for a certain amount of hours a day, and the chances of burst pipes will be greatly reduced.
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