Playing the game of landlords can be as tricky as the Game of Thrones in today’s market, as buy-to-let investors as responsible for ensuring that their tenants do not have Heating issues. Indeed, landlords are legally responsible for securing a safety certificate for gas appliances each year and also need to ensure hot water and heating systems are both maintained and fully-fuctioning.
New analysis by landlord insurer Direct Line for Business reveals that February is the peak month for boiler repair claims, up 163 per cent compared to the monthly average. Last winter, the insurer saw a 27 per cent increase in claims on broken down boilers.
With the Met Office recently issuing severe weather warning for the UK, 2017 could see more claims being made.
“Being caught out without heating in the winter can be particularly unpleasant, so landlords should make sure their properties have fully serviced boilers to help ensure their tenants don’t have heating issues,” Christina Dimitrov, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business.
With the cost for a broken boiler averaging around £1,200 to fix, heating issues can land a landlord in hot water, especially when tax changes and stamp duty surcharges mean that outgoings are already higher for buy-to-let investors.
Steps that can help protect your investment include:
1. Keep your heating on low
Sudden cold temperatures can freeze your boilers external condensate pipe which could cause your boiler to stop working. Insulating the pipes can help or try keeping the heating on low when it’s very cold.
2. Bleed your radiators
If your property isn’t getting as warm as you think it should be, there may be air trapped inside the heating system. Releasing air from the system is simple but you will need a key which can slot into the radiators bleed valve.
3. Keep your boiler maintained
Make sure you service your boiler and keep it maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Check regularly for any warning signs such as leeks, cracks or noises – the sooner you can identify a problem, the easier it will be to fix.
Photo: Thom Anderson