Landlords Urged to Check Properties During Winter Void Periods
We all know that our homes can take a beating during the winter months, but if you’re a landlord, it is vital that you protect your investment(s) at this time.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) is urging landlords or their letting agents to inspect their rental properties, particularly if they will be empty over the colder months.
Sometimes, your tenants may be away for the holidays or you may be facing a void period. The AIIC explains that if no one is going to be living in the property as temperatures drop, it will not be ventilated properly, which can cause damp, mould and other related issues.
Condensation is the main cause of damp and if windows are left closed for an extended period of time, damp becomes more frequent and the chances of mould forming rises.
The AIIC adds that the longer a home remains empty and unchecked, the higher the chances of drain blockages, pipe problems and clogged gutters, typically due to leaves. You should also check pipes for cracks and leaks, as these can worsen and cause more serious problems, especially if water freezes.
The AIIC suggests that all landlords, particularly those with vacant properties, make regular and thorough checks this winter.
Recent research from specialist lender Paragon Mortgages found that the average void period has fallen to less than 2.6 weeks per year. However, the AIIC warns that even this length of time is enough for winter-related issues to arise.
The Chair of the AIIC, Pat Barber, advises: “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.”1