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Winter Protection

After what must be one of the wettest autumns on record, followed by the first cold blast of winter, it is a timely reminder to ensure homes are equipped to take us through the winter months.

“This is particularly the case for rental properties, where landlords will save time, money and stress for all involved by taking a few precautionary steps,” says Head of Lettings at Balfours, Charlotte George MARLA.

“If a boiler hasn’t been serviced in the last nine months, then it is a good idea to have it serviced before it is put under pressure during the winter. This will throw up any weaknesses and may well prevent a major breakdown.”

According to Charlotte there are two other essentials to consider as we all stay inside more. One is to protect pipes with lagging, particularly external pipes and pipes in out of the way places, such as the loft.

“For the properties we manage we co-ordinate with both parties to ensure that these matters are done and signed off, and we would encourage landlords who are managing their own properties to take the same approach,” Charlotte explains.

These matters can be overlooked, either because the tenant is long standing and everyone assumes someone has done what nobody has, or in the case of a new tenant they may well not be aware, but in any case such responsibilities do ultimately fall to the landlord.

More heat in the house could mean a higher risk of fire. Since 2015 it is a legal requirement that a smoke alarm be fitted on each floor of a rental property – and regularly checked. The onset of winter is an obvious time to ensure alarms are fully operational. Finally, if a room has a solid fuel burning appliance, such as a woodburner or open fire, then a carbon monoxide alarm should be fitted in each room with such an appliance.

Charlotte concludes: “For landlords it really is worth ensuring your tenants are both safe and comfortable and that all equipment is fit to provide incumbents with cosy conditions – it’s also good advice for all of us in preparation for winter.”


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