The cost of repairing a faulty boiler currently stands at about 60% more than the average UK monthly rent, according to new research from Direct Line for Business.
The analysis by the insurer provider acts as a reminder that prevention is better than cure, with the firm warning that landlords should not be complacent when it comes to maintaining their properties’ heating systems.
It has been a warm week so far for the UK, with temperatures hitting 20C yesterday. But the unusually warm weather is set to make way for snow and hail next week, plunging the country back to winter conditions.
“March has already seen a sharp fall in temperature and unsettled conditions, so to prevent being caught out landlords should ensure that their properties all have fully serviced and insured boilers,” said Sarah Larkin, business manager at Direct Line for Business.
“Landlords are legally responsible for securing a safety certificate for gas appliances each year and they also need to ensure the heating and hot water systems are maintained and functioning properly,” she added.
Direct Line for Business has put together the following top tips for landlords:
Keep your heating on low: Sudden cold temperatures can freeze your boilers external condensate pipe, which could cause your boiler to stop working. Insulating the pipes can help as well as 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 have an unoccupied property for an extended period, you may want to consider draining the water system and switching the utilities off. However, if it's in the winter months, when frost might occur, then keeping your central heating system on at a minimum temperature can help prevent frozen pipes. It is important to understand that insurers will have specific terms and conditions that apply if the property is unoccupied for an extended period so check your policy to make sure that you understand and comply with these.