In the aftermath of the recent weather, properties across the North West have been covered in snow, pelted by hail, soaked through torrential rain and battered by turbulent winds. With the unpredictability of the British weather seemingly one of the largest traits known to your nation, it’s more than important than ever to ensure your tenants and rental property are protected at all costs.
A large number of housing insurance claims have been filed as a direct result of recent weather conditions, where properties have been seriously damaged as a result of the storms and high winds.
Typically, high winds are responsible for damaging roof tiles which in turn, can lead to water ingress in properties and rack up further damage counts. To landlords, this can mean not only high maintenance costs but also loss of rent f a property is declared uninhabitable due to the extent of damage caused.
With no insurance in place, this can lead to excruciating costs for landlords alike. It’s important that tenants are protected in your property whilst also keeping your finances protected from damages as well.
What can landlords do to protect their rental properties from the British weather?
Winter is typically the most testing season for properties. Snow and icy temperatures can play havoc with boilers and pipes, plunging tenants into freezing cold conditions. Then there’s the spells of intense wind conditions, which as already mentioned has the high probability of causing damage on varying levels to properties. Both of these factors also have the potential to impact the health and well-being of your tenants as well as that of your properties.
- Carry out preparations in advance
Last minute alterations and emergency call outs to your property right before a severe weather spell leaves the risk of the work not being conducted, whether it be by yourself, a trusted contractor or even your tenants themselves. Work like this needs to be planned well in advance, even if done over the summer when the weather is traditionally more calmer (although not always guaranteed). Some of the undertakings that should be considered include:- Securing components in garden and yard spaces, such as fence panels and outdoor furniture.- Check for larger, vulnerable trees or objects that could topple onto your property. Can these be removed, altered or fixed into place?
– Check the roof for any tiles that may be cracked or loose. Ensuring your roof is well protected is key to prevent any water ingress throughout.
– Check windows and doors to ensure they close properly and aren’t likely to be blown out of their fittings, whilst ensuring water/snow can’t get in.
- Communicate with your tenants
Communication is crucial with tenants at the best of times, but especially when bad weather is forecast. It will be much easier to ensure your property is secured and weatherproofed by arranging access with the tenants well in advance. Not only will they respect and be grateful for you care, but giving time in advance allows them to also make their preparations. By establishing a clear and consistent channel for communication, tenants are able to report concerns about the property prior; this will allow you to identify any vulnerable areas in your property before they are compromised by severe weather conditions and storms.
- Carry out frequent inspections
One of the most important considerations to take when monitoring the state of your property is thorough inspections. These should be carried out regularly enough to be able to monitor the condition, whilst done so in a manner that isn’t intrusive to your tenants. Communicating with tenants that these inspections are taking place is key, whilst also highlighting the reason for them. A notice period for informing tenants of your intention to access should be outlined in any tenancy agreement.
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to protecting your property against storms. Be vigilant and prepare your rental property for severe weather conditions. This is particularly true during the winter season, when storms are more likely to hit the UK. If arranging such works proves to be overly time consuming or getting in touch with your tenants, Abode are able to offer a range of contractors as part of our management experience with a wealth of experience in carrying out the necessary works to protect your tenants; whilst offering clear and transparent communication channels with them on your behalf. Simply give us a call on 0161 883 2525 for more information.