Brits have endured the wettest April on record.
The notoriously unpredictable British weather has caught many by surprise, with Simply Business noting a massive 280 per cent increase in weather-related insurance claims amongst businesses.
But the wet weather also presents significant potential problems for landlords. Rain is no friend to landlords, and it is important that you take precautions to protect your property. We have compiled some top tips to help you survive the downpour.
1. Consult the Environment Agency
Properties in certain parts of the country are particularly at risk from flooding. It is important that you know if your property is in one of these areas, in order that you can take the necessary steps to mitigate the risk.
The Environment Agency has an interactive map which will help you identify whether or not your property is at risk. Their website also contains guidance on flood protection.
2. Check your pipes
Pipes are a hotspot for accidents. Burst or overflowing pipes are a common cause of flooding, and this risk is significantly exacerbated in cases where those pipes are already weak. Take some time to check your piping, paying particular attention to joints and intersections.
3. Fix leaks
Existing leaks pose a significant risk the event of heavy rain. At the same time as checking your pipes, make sure that you identify and fix any leaks. It may be possible to fix small fissures yourself using adhesive available from your local DIY store, but larger problems are likely to require professional assistance.
4. Check outside electrics
Many properties have fuse boxes or other electrical units outside. If this is the case in your property, make sure that the structure housing the electrics is secure. Check for leaks or flimsy hinges in order to minimise the risk of water getting in.
5. If in doubt, ask a professional
There is a sense that DIY is always best, particularly when cash is tight. But it is important to understand that there are situations in which trying to complete the work yourself may be a false economy. If you are concerned that you won’t be able to do the job properly, hire a professional to do it for you.
6. Check your insurance
It is always important that your insurance is up to date and suitable for your needs, but the wet weather has made this necessity even more acute. Take some time to revisit your insurance policy, and ensure that it still fulfils your requirements. If your circumstances have changed, or if you are concerned that your policy is no longer right for you, you should contact your insurer.
7. Inform your tenants
Finally, remember that your tenants are your first line of defence against property problems. By ensuring that they are properly equipped, you can help to mitigate the risk of water damage. Consider leaving an information pack for all new tenants providing information like the location of fuse boxes and stopcocks, and basic guidance on property maintenance.