Here’s our essential guide to maintaining your buy-to-let properties this winter.
While we love the crisp, clear days in the winter sunshine, the crunch of frozen leaves underfoot and the promise of a hot festive tipple, the cold weather also brings challenges for landlords and property managers.
Protect your buy-to-let investments
At this time of year, it’s too easy to get swept up in the Christmas countdown, from last-minute gift -buying to the host of social engagements – but if you haven’t already carried out a winter inspection on your rental properties, now is the time.
Carrying out a winter maintenance check means you can identify any potential issues now, before they escalate into expensive or time-consuming problems. You’ll save money in the long term (not to mention being able to tuck into your Christmas dinner, uninterrupted!) and your tenants will remain happy with the service you provide.
The essential checklist for landlords
Make sure the boiler has been serviced – it’s going to be working harder over the next few months. Consider putting a service plan in place, and if it’s a gas boiler, make sure the gas safety certificate up to date.
Cold tenants are not happy tenants, so be sure to check that all radiators are working as they should.
3. Water pipes
Frozen water pipes are a common problem in the Scottish winter – internal and external water pipes should be properly lagged. Don’t forget any pipes in the loft.
Check for any drafts around doors and windows – do they close properly? Check and replace any seals that are missing or perished. If the property is a house or top floor apartment, is there sufficient loft insulation?
5. Extractor fans
Keeping your property well ventilated is particularly important in the winter months, when condensation can lead to damp. Focus especially on air flow in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Check that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning.
A build-up of leaves and debris could stop rainwater or snowmelt draining properly so avoid potential leaks and cracked drainpipes by clearing out gutters. While you’re looking up, it’s also worth checking for any missing roof tiles.
Take time to check over any external spaces – are security lights working? Is there any peeling paint, indicating moisture ingress? Are there any cracks in the driveway or paving that a hard frost could exacerbate?
Are property management services for you?
If all these checks and inspections are demanding too much of your valuable time, then consider our full management service – which covers every aspect of the letting cycle.
Get in touch to find out more about our service, which includes regular inspections, arranging safety certificates, cleaning, preventative maintenance and reactive maintenance. We also provide tenants with a 24 hour, seven days a week emergency contact number – so you have total peace of mind and can get on with enjoying all that the festive season brings.