Cadman Homes in Castle Street Rugby has put together some tips to keep your vacant properties safe during the winter.
Founder Valerie Cadman-Jones said: “Of course most landlords know only too well what to do over winter, especially if they have let a property out previously.
“However we do see a lot of landlords who come to us with broken boilers, burst pipes and other seasonal problems.
“One landlord called us last winter asking us to take over the management of four of his properties due to the amount of calls he had at night from tenants in need.”
Here are some things to bear in mind if you have a vacant property that may be for sale or let over winter: Pipes
Freezing temperatures can cause devastation to properties if pipes freeze and burst.
Tenants and landlords should be reminded to leave the heating on low, even if the property is unoccupied to prevent this from happening.
Drains and gutters
It is worth all landlords talking to their tenants about checking that the drains and guttering are not blocked. Gutters, for instance, which become blocked, can become extra heavy with frozen water which can lead to them breaking and falling.
Chimney fires can cause thousands of pounds of damage, loss of rent whilst a property is being repaired and of course death – is it therefore vital that a chimney is swept at least once a year. If a property contains a chimney, a landlord is best placed to ensure that they have an annual sweep to minimise this very serious risk.
If it’s likely that a property will be empty for a significant period of time, turning off the water is not always sufficient as there is normally still a lot of water in the system which could cause damage. Instruct a plumber to drain down the system (water and central heating) will help to eliminate this risk. “I’ll always remember a cottage we sold where the owner went away without telling us,” says head of sales Adam McHenry. “Over a snowy winter the pipes burst and the surveyor collected keys to do the survey on behalf of the buyer and walked into two feet of water in the hallway!”
Again, if a property is likely to be empty for a prolonged period, make sure that the Insurers obligations are not compromised, a good agent will carry out Empty Property Visits on a regular basis if asked.
Cadman Homes would recommend looking into insurance policies that can cover costs in the event of boiler or heating system failure, or even roof works. Cadman Homes has a close relationship with many local contractors and only use qualified and trusted tradesmen from the local area.
Cadman Homes operates a 24/7 phone line 365 days a year for landlords and tenants. The firm can be contacted on 01788 560 905 or 02476 22 22 62 or by emailing email@example.com
Alternatively you can pop in to their offices at Castle Street Rugby or 3 The Quadrant Coventry.