Have you inspected your rental property recently, ahead of the colder months?
As the temperatures fall, all landlords are advised to check on their properties for any sign of issues. It is important that you protect your investment at this time, especially if they will be empty over the winter.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) has advised landlords to inspect the property if tenants are going to be away for the holidays, or if it’s going through a void period. If no one is going to be in the property, it will be more prone to damp, mould and other issues, due to the lack of ventilation.
Condensation is the main cause of damp and as windows will be closed for long periods of time, damp is more common in the winter and the chances of mould growing increases.
The AIIC also notes that if a home is left empty for an extended period of time, there is a higher chance of the drains getting blocked, problems with pipes and clogged gutters, caused by falling leaves. You must check pipes for cracks and leaks, as these can worsen and result in more serious issues, especially if water freezes.
All landlords, particularly those with empty properties, should make regular and thorough inspections this winter.
Data from specialist lender Paragon Mortgages reveals that the average void period has dropped to under 2.6 weeks a year. However, the AIIC insists that even this length of time is long enough for weather-related issues to take effect.
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, says: “A detailed inventory, carried out by an independent inventory clerk, also allows a landlord to identify what needs repairing between contracts. This can be vital in ensuring the long-term condition of the rental property, as well as helping to get it up to scratch for new tenants.”