Posted by Jayne Codling
During the winter months, it is more important than ever that buy-to-let property owners protect their investments by taking out buildings insurance for landlords.
The harsh weather means there are a number of additional threats to properties, such as flooding and storm damage.
However, low temperatures make burst pipes a particularly problem for homeowners and landlords, and this can cause potentially costly damage to properties.
To help landlords combat the threat as well as taking out buy-to-let insurance to help cover the costs if any damage does occur, there are a number of preventative measures that can be taken.
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), has published a list of steps landlords can take to prepare their properties for winter weather and prevent pipes from bursting.
First of all, if the property is to be left unattended, leave the heating on a low temperature (around 15 degrees centigrade), said the organisation.
Secondly, make sure all pipes in the loft are lagged and check that the header and water tanks are insulated. Landlords should also lag the outside water taps to prevent them freezing and pipes bursting, said ARLA.
It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for any leaks, bearing in mind that plastic plumbing joints will probably degrade sooner than metal ones.
Meanwhile, with gale force winds seen throughout much of the UK this week, ARLA also issued some top tips for preparing properties for stormy weather.
This includes regularly checking the condition of all roofs - in particular, inspecting garage, shed and flat roofs for signs of wear and tear, as this is of importance in heavy snow due to the unexpected additional weight.
Landlords should also keep gutters, gullies and drains clear so they can carry water away quickly and efficiently, while a blocked downpipe with trapped rainwater may crack or shatter in freezing conditions.
Finally consider cutting back low-hanging tree branches which could cause damage in high winds, ARLA advised.