There’s no shortage of advice for landlords as winter approaches - the latest comes from the Deposit Protection Service.
Here’s its four point guide:
1. Repair exterior of the property: “Fix those minor cracks, clear any blocked downpipes and sort out loose or cracked roof tiles. Little cracks and crevices can easily turn into gaping holes and downpipes can quickly overflow causing damp. Take a good look at all your outside walls, roofing, and guttering to make sure you’re confident they’ll last until spring.”
2. Store garden furniture in a safe, dry place: “Make sure you or your tenants pack garden items into a dry shed or outbuilding to keep them in tip top condition ready to be used again next year.”
3. Insulate the property: “One of the main reasons for heat loss in UK homes is a poorly insulated attic space. Making an effort to keep your tenants’ bills low is the best way to encourage them to keep your property warm, which will reduce the risk of long-term structural damage due to damp and mould. Plus it’s great for the environment too. You may be able to offset some of the cost of this work with government grants. Starting in September 2020, the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme could give you up to £5,000 for loft and wall insulation and a new boiler.”
4. Keep your property warm and dry: “Make sure the heating is working correctly by bleeding radiators and encourage your tenants to have the heating on a timer. Lagging any exposed pipes is also a quick, cheap protective measure. This will ensure the house heats evenly to limit the risk from damp and mould, and will stop pipes from bursting. This is especially important if your tenants plan on leaving the property empty for an extended period of time. It’s also a good idea to know where your stopcock is, and to show your tenants too. If a pipe does burst, they’ll be able to turn off the water and minimise damage before you or a plumber get there.”
Last week ARLA Propertymark released a guide for landlords, too: you can see it here.