Winter is fast approaching and therefore the risk of unplanned emergency repairs increases.
Why not be a proactive landlord and be prepared:-
1. Service boilers - after 6-9months of sitting dormant, boilers are often top of the list for going wrong when the cold weather hits. Make sure you have an annual boiler service to avoid any problems when you need heat the most.
2. Check central heating and if needed, bleed radiators - if you hear lots of noises in the radiators when you switch the heating on, chances are, there will be excess air in the pipes. Bleeding any air will also ensure your radiators stay warm.
3. Sweep Chimneys - over the course of the year, leaves, bird feathers etc. can build up in your chimney which can form a fire hazard when you begin using your fire again. Having a chimney sweep will remove any unwanted debris before it becomes a hazard.
4. Check aerials are secure - in advance of possible high winds, it's always recommended that you check the fixings on your aerials to ensure any loose bolts are tightened up. You don't want to have to be climbing up on the roof when the weather gets bad!
5. Make sure exterior doors and windows fit and are in good condition - In cold weather, ill-fitting doors and windows can let out heat and even worse, let in rain. Be sure to seal any cracks before the Winter.
6. Clear gutters - After the Autumn leaves have fallen, they can often lie in gutters, blocking drains. Don't forget to clear all your gutters to reduce the risk of flooding in the event of heavy rain.
7. Check drain covers fit - You don't want any overflowing drains spilling out onto your property. Make sure covers fit and if you're not sure, your local council will be able to provide advice.
8. Jet wash decking and block paving to avoid slips and spills - A build-up of leaves and dirt can make surfaces slippery. By cleaning them thoroughly, reduces the risk of accidents happening.
9. Secure outlet areas to prevent rodent ingress (they like staying warm) - like you or I, our four-legged friends don't like the cold either!
10. Check fences are secured - High winds can rip out fences if not secured firmly. Rotten fence panels will also be damaged more easily, so ensure that any weak panels are replaced.
11. Smoke and carbon monoxide detector installed and working - of course this is something that should be considered at all times of the year but 'Getting fit for Winter' is an ideal time to double check all alarms are working.
12. Insulate exposed plumbing pipes - Freezing pipes are common so ensure that any exposed pipes are insulated prior to the cold weather hitting.
13. Cut back trees and shrubs to keep them well away from your property - When there are high winds, the risk of falling trees is far greater than normal. Cutting excess branches back will reduce the risk of damage to your property should they fall in the wind.
14. Inform Tenants of their responsibilities - it's easy for each party to assume that the other will take responsibility. To ensure there aren't any misunderstandings, inform your tenants what it is that you require them to do and how often they should do it.
Be safe; inspect your properties and reduce the risk to your property and wealth.
If you would like Martin & Co to help please get in touch.