Tell Tenants How to Deal with Emergencies, Urges NLAMake Text Bigger
Tenants need to know about how to cope in an emergency to protect rental properties from risk of damage in the cold weather, urges the National Landlords Association.
Many rental properties were damaged by flooding after burst pipes because tenants did not know how to switch off the water supply, claims the NLA.
Thousands of homes were left drenched and uninhabitable after last year’s cold spell – insurers paid out £1 billion in compensation for claims that added up to an average £25,000.
Landlords were hit twice – not only were the homes out of action for weeks for repairs, but they were not earning rents for the time they were empty.
The NLA is pleading with landlords to put together a property guide for when tenants move in that explains how to shut off utilities and drain down boilers and heating systems.
NLA chairman David Salusbury said: “It’s important that tenants know how the heating system works in their property. Each winter, many rented properties are damaged by burst pipes because tenants don’t know how to shut off the heating system.”
Landlord insurers have also suggested ways for property investors to protect their homes in the winter:
- Drain down water and heating systems if the property is not lived in for more than a week or two
- Lag pipes and tanks in the loft
- Leave heating on at 13C so pipes and radiators do not freeze
- Leave loft doors open to let warm air circulate around pipes and tanks in the roof space
Insurers are also warning that claims may be rejected for rental properties that are left unoccupied.
Most landlord policies have a clause that stops home insurance cover if a property is left empty for 30 days or more.
Specialist brokers can offer temporary insurance for unoccupied properties.
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