Protecting your property from the impact of winter


It may feel like we’ve already been in the depths of winter for months, however its likely we’ll still be exposed to the risk of freezing conditions for a few more months to come.  As a landlord it’s not too late to ensure your rental property is fully protected against the various impacts of the cold weather. Even if you completed an inspection earlier in the season, it’s often worth making a second inspection to make sure everything is still as it should be. 

We all like to keep warm during the cold weather, and so preventative action can lessen the risk that your tenant has a central heating failure this winter. As a landlord you’re legally responsible for ensuring all gas appliances have a safety certificate – so getting the whole heating system inspected at the same time as the annual boiler service makes sense.  During very cold weather, there’s a risk that pipes can freeze, and this will mean the boiler stops working.  You can reduce the risk of freezing pipes by ensuring they’re adequately insulated.  However even with insulation, it’s important to check the pipes for cracks and other signs of damage. 

If the tenant complains that the radiators aren’t getting very warm, then it could be they have air in them, and need bleeding. 

But it’s not just boilers and heating systems that can be affected by the cold weather. 

Gutters and drains should be cleared of any autumn leaves to ensure rain water can be drained away.  And whilst this is done, you should double check they’re all properly secured to the building.  At the same time, you should inspect the roof.  After the recent storms across many parts of the UK, there’s a risk that damage may have been done to roof tiles.  Falling roof tiles can be a hazard, especially if they fall onto a person or pet.  But the hole left by a missing or damaged roof tile can cause a leak. 

Double check fence panels are fully secured, and if you have any trees in the garden, it’s worth an inspection to ensure there hasn’t been any damage that could result in branches falling.