Landlords should not be fooled by warm weather

What a difference a year makes! It was around this time last year that the UK found itself enveloped by atrocious weather conditions. Beginning with floods in the South West, these were quickly followed by Arctic conditions in Scotland which eventually moved progressively south and left the whole British Isles shivering for months. Landlords across the length and breadth of the country found themselves claiming on their landlords insurance policies for all manner of things related to the bad weather.

Balmy weather

Compare that to the balmy conditions we are experiencing at the moment. Here in the South West the temperature gauge has yet to drop below double figures so warnings about preparing properties for winter are hard to take seriously, but they should be.

Green deal could hold back investment

The temptation for some landlords may be to hold back on investment on insulation as the Government’s much vaunted Green Deal supposedly starts next year. Although details are still sketchy landlords may well be forced to bring properties in their portfolio up to a certain standard; however, they may be eligible for cheap loans to complete the work. Obviously investors with a solid business brain have to consider this but they should not leave their homes at the mercy of the weather if repairs are needed now. Their business property insurance provider will require them to keep their property in a state of good repair and their tenants deserve to be given the best living conditions the landlord can achieve.

Good relationship with tenants a must

With this in mind landlords should aim to insulate their loft to a minimum of 10 inches and to also consider cavity wall insulation. They should use draught excluders where appropriate if they are holding back on investing in a new heating system and now is the time to ensure that all exterior maintenance is completed. Mid winter is not the time to have missing roof slates or leaky guttering. Tenants should be asked if they have noticed anything that should be repaired or soon will do and it’s massively important to make sure tenants know how to work heating systems. It is foolhardy to install a new system unless the house incumbent is completely at ease on how it works. It always pays for landlords to take time to get to know their tenants; a good relationship is beneficial in lots of ways to both parties.

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