Due to the recent flooding, landlords across the country have had to deal with a large number of their properties being damaged by floodwater.
This means many have had to work longer hours and spend a substantial amount of time contacting their landlord insurance providers to arrange repairs.
However, there are those that are unsure where to start when it comes to flood damage, so here we look at what you can do if your property has been severely, moderately, or minimally affected by flood water:
Severe flood damage
Unfortunately, if you have properties based in the south of the UK, there is a good chance they have been severely affected by flooding, especially if they are located near Somerset or by the River Thames.
Over the past few days, the Environment Agency has issued 16 severe flood warnings (meaning severe flooding and danger to life) and 76 flood warnings (meaning immediate action should be taken) for the South West and South East of England.
If one of your properties has been severely affected by flooding, then it’s likely your tenants will have already been evacuated. As a landlord, you may therefore find yourself having to rehome your tenants while the property is unsafe to live in, and even after the floodwaters have drained, it could take months for the damage to be repaired.
If this is the case, you need to make sure you keep in constant contact with your landlord insurance provider and tenants in order to make sure the restoration process runs as smoothly as possible.
Moderate flood damage
Even though properties that have been the worst affected by flooding are mainly based in the South West and South East of England, homes have been affected nationwide.
A large number of these properties are still habitable, however, there are other issues landlords need to deal with. One of the biggest issues with flood damage is that it can destroy the structure of your properties if ignored, so if one of your properties has been affected, time is of the essence.
You will likely hear from your tenants straight away should their property be affected by floodwater, and as soon as you do, make sure you get as much information as possible about the amount of damaged caused. Small amounts of water in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms are less disastrous than in carpeted areas such as bedrooms or living rooms, and if it is safe to do so, you can advise your tenants on how to stem the flooding.
Make sure you regularly contact your tenants to find out if the flooding is getting worse and always have a plan in place should they need to evacuate.
Minimal flood damage
If your properties are built on high ground or are in an area where there are no lakes and rivers, you will probably find that they are unaffected by the recent flooding.
However, with so much rain falling over the past few months, there is still a danger that they could be damaged, so you need to make sure you or your tenants perform basic checks once the weather has improved.
Roof tiles, gutters and even windowpanes can all be adversely affected by continuous heavy rainfall, and if left in disrepair, could lead to issues in the future.
Don’t be surprised to hear that some of your tenants will have noticed small leaks in rooms such as garages and lofts during heavy rainfall, which you should treat as warning signs. Small leaks and overflowing gutters can very quickly turn into major weak points in your properties, meaning that if the rain continues, you could eventually find water entering them. Keep your properties well maintained and you should be able to avoid these issues in the future.
Unfortunately, nearly every landlord across the UK right now needs to have some sort of plan in place in case their properties are affected by flooding, otherwise, they could find themselves in a difficult situation.
Remember, the Environment Agency website is updated on a regular basis with information concerning flood warnings and what to do in an emergency.