How to winter proof your portfolio

How to winter proof your portfolio

With Christmas fast approaching, the weather is getting colder and with the drop in temperature can come problems for landlords and tenants alike. Common side effects of winter weather can include a leaky roof, damp, or frozen pipes; and routine problems like faulty heating or a broken boiler can spell disaster in the winter months, with icy conditions making it more problematic for repairs to be carried out.

With a growing Private Rented Sector (PRS) there are a greater number of high-risk tenants in rental accommodation including the elderly and young families who might suffer greater risk of illness should faults in the home persist. With this in mind it is always a good idea for landlords to winter proof homes before the quieter Christmas period and get on top of any potential issues – meaning everyone can relax and enjoy the festivities!

To make things as simple as possible the Met Office has released some top tips for landlords (and tenants!) this winter. The national weather service points out some important outside factors to take into account including clearing guttering of leaves and branches so they won’t get blocked by any heavy rainfall, securing fences and roof slates and also putting away or weighting down garden furniture. ‘Most winters we see pictures of airborne trampolines and garden furniture,’ the Met Office says.

Inside the home the Met Office make clear the importance of looking after pipes in the winter, as this can be a common problem when freezing temperatures occur. ‘Firstly, make sure your water pipes and water tanks in the loft are insulated with good quality lagging, to ensure they don’t freeze or burst,’ it says. ‘Keeping your heating at about 14 degrees centigrade should keep water circulating in your pipes in very cold weather and ensure it doesn’t freeze.’

It added a side note for tenants: ‘However, if you’re going to be away for a while, turn off your water supply and drain the system.’

However sometimes there is no level of pre-preparing that can stop problems in the winter months. However bothersome, power cuts and rogue appliances or electrics can hamper the best made plans! The Met Office suggest that, just in case, tenants should get prepped by keeping candles and torches with multiple batteries in the house, along with important documents handy whilst landlords should be sure they are insured.

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