It’s around this time of year that we start hearing awful news from all over the Northern Hemisphere; we’ve already seen the damage that Hurricane Sandy has done to the USA and the Caribbean and flooding throughout Europe. In the UK, we’re much less exposed to these sorts of natural emergencies, but it is something that landlords need to think about before it’s too late. What are the risks in the UK and how should you protect yourself against them?
Flooding and Bad Weather
You guessed it, the worst we’re likely to receive in the UK is flooding, but this can be immensely damaging. If you’re from an area near the coast or on a river, you’ve probably grown up with the threat of flooding, but landlords from elsewhere investing in potential flood areas may not be aware of the risks. Get clued up before you buy – there is plenty of research and information online. High winds are also very likely if you’re near the coast and they can cause property damage.
Preparing Your Property
Your tenants are, in general, responsible for their own safety but you should be aware of any essentials you are required to prepare. If you are in a flooding area, it’s prudent to prepare sandbags and ensure you have all the appropriate emergency access. One thing that can be more helpful than anything is to give your tenants the right phone numbers in case of damages: flooding can easily destroy electrics and so a having an emergency electrician’s number to hand could save your property.
Check your Policy
Finally, don’t assume that you’re covered for everything on your landlord insurance policy. There may well be exclusions for flooding and it’s possible that you will need to take out additional cover to protect yourself. If you’re unsure, speak to your insurance provider: they will know the specifics of your policy.
We are, generally, lucky in the UK to be in a reasonably stable natural environment, but you should never underestimate the damage that bad weather can do. Be prepared for the worst and you’ll come out as best as you can.