Severe weather forecast for this weekend poses significant threats to landlords.
Storm force winds and heavy, possibly torrential rain, are predicted to hit the UK on Sunday night, and will peak during the early hours of Monday morning. The highest winds are likely to hit between the Severn and the Wash, while the worst of the rain is forecast for North Wales and the Northern areas of the UK.
Damage caused by severe weather can be crippling for landlords, but there are some simple steps that you can take to ensure that the risks are mitigated.
Contact your tenants
Well informed tenants are your first line of defence, and it is important that you warn them of the potential for severe weather not just this weekend but throughout the winter. Make sure that they are aware of the key things they need to do in order to protect themselves and the property. Ensure that they know, for example, the location of the stopcock and, crucially, make clear that they must not let the pipes freeze. This will become particularly important over what could well be an unusually cold winter.
Inspect the property
By visiting the property you can ensure that any niggling problems are dealt with before they become disastrous. Cracked or broken roof tiles are a key factor, check the condition of your roof and chimneys for any problems. Especially around the most vulnerable parts of the roof like the ridge (at the top) or verges (around the edges). Also consider any low hanging tree branches which could cause damage in high winds and loose or poorly fitted garage doors.
Broken pipes are also a factor which, if left untended, can result in flooding. Ensure that any broken pipes are fixed ahead of the heavy rain, and that gutters are free from blockages. Pay particular attention to the joins between pipes, as these are particularly prone to failure.
Also be sure you check the window fittings, making sure that they are watertight, and ensure that the coverings of any outdoor electrical appliances are intact.
Check your insurance
With some quick action now you can dramatically reduce the chances of your property sustaining damage as a result of the weather, but in the event that the worst does happen, it is vital that you are properly insured. If you are in any doubt about whether or not you are covered, or about the terms of your policy, you should contact your insurer as a matter of urgency. You can call Simply Business on 0333 014 6683 between the hours of 9am and 6pm from Monday to Friday, and between 9am and 2pm on Saturday.