As we head further into the colder months, it's worth remembering that it's not just the seasons that change. Potential changes to property are likely to happen too and landlords should give some extra thought during winter to how they can make sure their property ticks along as it should do.
Propertymark is advising landlords to avoid unwanted issues in their property and make it extra enticing for tenants given that the market continues to remain fierce.
Newly released research shows that the average void tenancy time has continued to decrease month on month since May to 2.1 weeks and the average tenancy time continues to be on the rise meaning there has never been a more attractive time to be a landlord.
Top tips on what will help avoid damages and sharpen up your property
Keep your tenant’s toasty
A warm home is a happy one. Landlords can limit expenses and keep their tenants warm in the winter by:
Bleeding radiators – This is a simple yet effective way that can sometimes be overlooked.
Servicing the boiler - Keeping on top of services is far cheaper in the long run compared to the call out fee of a busy engineer for an urgent repair.
Limiting draughts in the property - Sealing them is a quick and easy way to help your tenants stay warm and save money. Check for draughts around the edges of window frames, under doors, and around letterboxes.
Insulate the loft – loft insulation can make a big difference when it comes to preserving heat in a property, if there is insulation, it’s worth checking it’s up to standard.
Lag the pipes – In order to keep pipes frost-free, landlords can wrap them in lagging which is nice and cheap but can save a tonne by stopping pipes from freezing and avoid bursts.
If a property is empty and ready and waiting for a new tenant, landlords should consider flicking on the heating and making sure it’s warm and cosy for viewings.
Keeping on top of the exterior maintenance is really important for landlords. In order to limit potentially expensive damages before the worst of the weather hits, landlords should:
Check and clean gutters to limit blockages and prevent water damage.
Repair and maintain garden fences, windows and other features
Check the roof as missing tiles as a bad storm can cause structural problems in the long-term
Put on your gardening gloves
If a property is empty and a landlord is looking to make it more attractive to potential tenants, small upgrades in outdoor spaces can make all the difference. With autumn leaves scattered and gloomy days approaching a well-maintained garden can give a property the burst of colour and tidiness it needs. Landlords could consider planting new plants, trimming back hedges, and sweeping away any dead debris.
Maxine Fothergill, ARLA Propertymark’s President, comments: “Winter months can cause costly and unwanted problems in a property, but the more work landlords put in to check over the areas which are more likely to cause them, the more likely it will be they will save valuable time and money.
“With the average length of a tenancy continuing to increase, landlords are more likely to get a good tenant in situ by using a good agent and having a well-maintained property.”