For landlords looking for tenants during the winter months, one quick win is to fix all those minor repairs that can take the shine off a property. Tackling loose cupboard doors, wonky drawer handles, and dilapidated garden fences can make a surprising difference to a potential tenant’s first impression of a property.
With the home in tip top condition, it’s then important to photograph it beautifully, whether for a traditional listing or 360° tour. Using a professional to capture the property at its best could pay dividends here.
Landlords also need to pay careful attention to how they describe their property when advertising it, avoiding generic language and highlighting the home’s best features to ensure the property stands out from the crowd. Marketing across multiple platforms can also help.
When it comes to protecting a rental home from the cold, there are plenty of steps that landlords can take. If the property is empty, it can be tempting to leave the heating off. However, this runs the risk of the pipes freezing and bursting, so it’s much better to leave the heating on low. In addition, any exposed pipework will need attention – insulation tubes are a cost effective and easy way to reduce the risk of freezing. They are certainly far cheaper than the hundreds of pounds worth of damage that a burst pipe can cause. Landlords can protect external taps with insulation tubes as well.
Keeping the property warm will also help to combat any condensation, mould or damp. However, landlords should avoid the temptation to keep the windows shut all the time, as air flow and ventilation are also key to avoiding condensation and damp.
Keeping a rental property’s boiler serviced is, of course, essential throughout the year. In addition, landlords should bleed the radiators as part of their winter maintenance work.
Given the spiralling cost of energy bills during the winter, and particularly this winter, landlords might also like to consider using the winter months to switch supplier, with a view to making a saving.
Outside the property, it’s important to keep gutters and roofs clear and in good repair. Guttering that is clogged with autumn leaves and moss is unlikely to direct water away from the house efficiently, creating potential problems with damp and mould.
Finally, landlords need to make sure they have relevant insurance in place, as the property is more likely to sustain damage over the winter months than in the summer.
Jonathan Daines, founder and CEO, LettingaProperty.com, said: ““Good communication with the tenant is also crucial to successful winter lettings. After all, tenants who have a good relationship with their landlord are likely to make more effort to keep the property in good condition. And if heavy snow, local flooding or other extreme weather is expected, the landlord and tenant can agree an emergency plan and share ways to contact each other if required. By working in partnership, they can ensure that the property will still be in tip top condition come spring.”