For most people, Christmas is a blissful time, a chance to unwind with family and friends and recharge the batteries.
But if you’re a landlord, you can’t ever completely relax, can you?
There’s always a possibility that something could go awry at your rental property. A pipe could burst, the boiler might pack up, or an uninvited guest (we’re talking about a burglar, not Santa) could pay a visit.
Whatever the scenario, landlords have a duty of care to act promptly in an emergency.
The good news is that you can reduce the risk of having to curtail your festivities by taking a few proactive steps now in the run-up to Christmas.
Here’s a checklist to help you prepare.
Talk to your tenants
Contact your tenants and wish them a happy holiday (it’s a nice thing to do, and a good way to build rapport). If your tenants are going away, remind them to lock up carefully as burglars often strike at this time of year. Also, ask if there are any niggling issues at the property that need addressing. It’s better to find out now than when you’re snoozing on the sofa on Christmas Day or raising a toast on New Year’s Eve.
No doubt you already have a regular maintenance routine, but it’s worth checking that:
- The boiler is in good working order and has recently been serviced.
- Pipes are well insulated (this will reduce the risk of a pipe freezing and ultimately bursting and causing a major leak).
- There are no cracks in the pipework or brickwork. Water can seep into these cracks and freeze, causing severe damage.
- Carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are working.
- Gutters are clear of leaves, so rainwater drains away rather than seeping into the brickwork.
Prepare an emergency contact list
It’s useful to have the contact details of an emergency plumber, electrician and locksmith in the event something goes wrong. Having to ring around on a public holiday to find someone who can help will only add to the stress and waste time.
But wait, there’s one other option!
Savvy landlords enjoy a trouble-free Christmas every year by having a letting agent manage their investment property. A good letting agent will step in if there’s an emergency. That means you can switch off your alerts and let your hair down, safe in the knowledge that an expert is in charge.
To learn more about our property management services, contact us here at Chamberlains.