An insurance company is offering a checklist for landlords - and indeed all property owners - to prepare their homes for winter.
LV=General Insurance says the storms of 2020 so far and lingering damage from those at the end of 2019 mean £10m has so far this year been paid out to its customers - almost double the amount claimed in 2019.
Now LV=GI has identified the key issues which are - in this order - loss of roof tiles, water penetration due to poorly maintained flat roofs, guttering and chimney stack damage, problems with walls and outbuildings including damage to garden cabins/sheds, garages and greenhouses; and damage to garden equipment.
Despite this, research by the firm appears to show that many landlords leave their properties at risk of damage.
The company advises:
- Clear gutters and drains of leaves; if heavy rainfall is expected, make sure water can drain away properly by clearing gutters;
- Check your roof tiling is secure; get a professional roofer to inspect your roof. Damaged, missing or loose tiles can cause serious damage in high winds;
- Check your property for water damage;
- Check fence panels and fix or replace them if necessary. Fence panels can fly off in extreme win and cause damage to your home and potentially your neighbour’s property;
- Secure loose objects in your garden or move elsewhere; wind can play havoc with your garden furniture and ornaments – move them indoors or secure them;
- Move cars into a garage; this will minimise the damage caused in the event of extreme winds or flooding;
- Cut back branches; branches or trees in your garden can cause damage in storms. Cut them back to reduce the chance of this happening;
- Put up flood defences before bad weather arrives; you can find sandbag-like products to block your home’s doors and entrances.