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Landlords urged to prepare properties for winter

Landlords are being encouraged to make crucial preparations to their buy-to-let properties as the winter fast approaches, after a new survey revealed that almost half of private landlords fail to carry out essential, pre-winter checks.

The study, carried out by online letting agent Upad.co.uk among more than 4,000 private landlords, found that just 52% planned ahead by carrying out necessary checks during the summer months.

To avoid expensive repair bills, it is important to take preventative action. A few simple checks on your property prior to the cold really settling in will help keep your tenants happy over the winter and hopefully help ensure that you remain stress free.

Speaking of the research findings, James Davis, CEO and founder of Upad, the online letting agency, said: “Whilst it’s encouraging to see a slight majority of private landlords investing the time and money to carry out certain routine maintenance checks, the fact remains that almost half are failing to do so.

“Those who don’t act in plenty of time, run the risk of any issues escalating and, therefore, costing more to rectify.  This is not only a drain on the landlord’s finances, but can also lead to unhappy tenants who may choose to look for alternative accommodation if the disruption becomes too much to live with.”

Among those landlords who do commit to routine inspections, 73% ensure checks and necessary maintenance are carried out on the heating boiler, yet only 55% extend this to all aspects of the heating systems including pipework and radiators.

A similarly low number extend their checks to outside the property with just 55% clearing drainpipes and guttering and 27% carrying out roof checks and maintenance.

He added: “Ensuring that things like your boiler, heating system, and external pipes are in good order will not just show your tenants you're on the ball as a landlord, it will reduce the likelihood of maintenance calls through the winters months and potentially identify small issues that can be fixed now before they town into bigger, and more urgent and expensive, problem later.” 

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