With winter on its way in the UK, rental platform LettingaProperty.com has put together a few tips to help landlords and their let properties survive the colder months.
Jonathan Daines, Founder and CEO of LettingaProperty, comments: “November and December are known for bringing a fall in lettings activity. And decreased tenant demand isn’t the only issue facing landlords – letting properties during the winter months also means there’s plenty to think about from a maintenance perspective.”
Perform maintenance checks
Looking for tenants during the winter months? LettingaProperty suggests one quick win is to fix all minor repairs. Tackling loose cupboard doors, wonky drawer handles, and dilapidated garden fences can make a difference to a potential tenant’s first impression of a property. Ensure the boiler has been serviced and bleed the radiators as part of your winter maintenance work.
Outside the property, it’s important to keep gutters and roofs clear and in good repair. Guttering that is clogged with autumn leaves and moss is unlikely to direct water away from the house efficiently, creating potential problems with damp and mould.
Take good photographs
Whether it’s for a traditional listing or 360° tour, having photos to show off your property’s potential is important. Using a professional to capture the property at its best could also help.
Highlight the home’s best features
Pay careful attention to how you describe the property when advertising it. Avoid generic language and highlight the best features to ensure the property stands out from the crowd. Marketing across multiple platforms can also help.
Keep the heating on in unoccupied properties
If the property is empty, it can be tempting to leave the heating off. However, this runs the risk of the pipes freezing and bursting, so it’s much better to leave the heating on low. In addition, any exposed pipework will need attention – insulation tubes are a cost effective and easy way to reduce the risk of freezing. External taps can also be protected with insulation tubes.
Avoid keeping the windows shut all of the time
Keeping the property warm will also help to combat any condensation, mould or damp. However, avoid the temptation to keep the windows shut all of the time, as air flow and ventilation are also key to avoiding condensation and damp.
Compare energy suppliers
Given the spiralling cost of energy bills during the winter, consider using the winter months to switch supplier, with a view to making a saving.
Protect your property investment
Finally, make sure you have relevant insurance in place, as the property is more likely to sustain damage over the winter months than in the summer, the rental platform says.
Daines comments: “Good communication with the tenant is also crucial to successful winter lettings. After all, tenants who have a good relationship with their landlord are likely to make more effort to keep the property in good condition.
“And if heavy snow, local flooding or other extreme weather is expected, the landlord and tenant can agree an emergency plan and share ways to contact each other if required. By working in partnership, they can ensure that the property will still be in tip top condition come spring.”