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Landlords urged to service boilers to reduce risk of heating system failure

Britain looks set to be hit with snow and ice warnings over the next few weeks that could put thousands of homes at risk of frozen and burst pipes, which is one of the most common boiler-related problems in winter.

Research shows that there has been an increase in insurance claims for faulty boilers in recent years, and with temperatures expected to plummet, experts are predicting the record for boiler claims could be broken again this winter.

As many of you will know, prevention is better than cure and that is why it is important, as a landlord, that you are not complacent when it comes to maintaining the heating systems in your properties.

After all, calling out an emergency plumber to fix a broken boiler carries a premium.

Amid what is likely to be a cold few weeks, the last thing you need – or expect – is for your boiler to grind to a frozen halt.

But you could keep your boiler in tip-top condition with these top tips for landlords from Direct Line for Business:

+ Keep your heating on low: Sudden cold temperatures can freeze your boiler’s external condensate pipe, which could cause your boiler to stop working. Insulating the pipes can help, or try keeping the heating on constantly but low when it’s very cold.

+ Bleed your radiators: If your property isn’t getting as warm as you think it should be, there may be air trapped inside the heating system. Releasing air from the system is simple but you will need a key which can slot into the radiators bleed valve. If you still have a problem after doing this, you may need to call in the professionals.

+ Keep your boiler maintained: Make sure you service your boiler and keep it maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Check regularly for any warning signs such as leaks, cracks or noises as the sooner you can identify a problem, the easier it will be to fix.

+ Turn off services when property is unoccupied: If you do have an unoccupied property for longer than 30 days then it’s worth draining the water system and switching the utilities off. However, if it’s in the winter months then keeping your central heating system on at a minimum temperature can help prevent frozen pipes.

+ If you’re considering buying a rental property and would like more information on the responsibilities and obligations associated with being a landlord, or for more tips and guidance, please visit the Landlord Knowledge Centre.

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