URBAN'S Chilly Checklist

There are a few steps you can take to make sure that your property is as winter-proof as it can be, and that the chilly weather doesn’t wreak havoc over the party period.

The festive break is a great time for having fun and relaxing with family and friends at home. However, when you’re relaxed and happily working your way through a box of Quality Street the last thing you want to happen is a panicked call from a tenant on Boxing Day saying that a winter disaster has caused havoc
at your BTL.

Start at the top

Everyone knows the havoc a troupe of reindeer can cause to a roof on Christmas eve… however it isn’t just Rudolph and co. causing mischief to your tiles – the elements, birds
and just general wear can all add up to a roof that’s not doing all it can to keep the wintery weather out.

Making sure your roof is weather-tight is vital to maintaining a winter-proof property. You
don’t have to climb up the chimney to get a good look at the state of your roof though – you can usually see from ground level if there are any cracked, slipped or broken tiles that need attention. Don’t forget to check out any chimney pots as well – lots of properties have chimneys that aren’t in use – if so they can be protected with a ventilated cowl.

'Leaf' it out!

Whilst we all dream of a white Christmas, the reality is it is less crunchy snow-covered
paths, more slippery mulchy leaves! Much more appropriate for riding your new Christmas
bike in, but not great for the state of your gutters and drains!

Clearing your gutters of soggy winter leaves doesn’t sound like a very festive job to go
onto the ‘to do’ list, but making sure the gulleys and drains are clear will help make sure that you don’t start the new year with a soggy wall, flooded garden or worst-case-scenario a leak inside the property!

Sweep away the year

There’s nothing nicer at Christmas than being able to hang your stockings in front of a
roaring fire, and if you are lucky enough to boast a real fire in your rental property it will undoubtably have been a real selling point to your tenants.

As a landlord you are responsible for the safe maintenance of any solid fuel appliance that emits gas – and an open fire falls under this category. Therefore sweeping a chimney is seen under the category of ‘flue and ventilation maintenance’ and is your responsibility.

At this time of year, when your tenant is likely to use the fire the most, it is vitally important to make sure that the chimney has been swept professionally and there is no debris left that could cause a fire.

Full of hot air

‘The heating isn’t working…’ – surely four of the worst words to hear from a tenant.

With thoughts of expensive broken boilers popping into your mind at the priciest time of year, it’s a good idea to make sure that the problem isn’t easily preventable before you start cancelling Christmas.

Making sure all radiators are bled and working to their best is one of the simplest ways to avoid a heating havoc this winter. Whilst many landlords prefer to do this themselves, you could also show your tenants how to prefer this simple DIY task on check-in, so if there’s ever an issue, they can give it a go themselves first before they make the panicked phonecall!

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