Just Landlords provided us with their top tips on insurance considerations to avoid the pitfalls of spring.
Insurance Considerations for Landlords as Spring Approaches
It’s that funny time of year when the January blues are well and truly over, but winter is still in the air, and spring is on the horizon. So how can landlords be proactive in their insurance considerations?
It’s quite common to start thinking about how to protect your property from the perils of bad weather ahead of the winter months, but now is also a great time to take precautions and avoid the pitfalls of spring.
Just Landlords has created a list of insurance considerations for anyone that owns property ahead of the springtime:
The bad weather may not be over
As we’ve seen over the last few years, bad weather is no longer restricted to the winter months of November-January. As such, you must be prepared for a whole host of weather conditions going into spring. In fact, storm damage has been one of our most prominent claims over the spring months – spend some time now reinforcing your property and repairing any current issues to prevent further damage in the future.
Tenants will be coming and going
Springtime, particularly around Easter, is an extremely common time for tenants to move in and out of rental properties. With move-ins and move-outs just around the corner for many landlords, make sure to visit your property for a periodic inspection now to ensure that everything is in a good condition. With damage quite common during removal periods, you should make a note of the condition of the property before tenants move out so that you can clearly highlight any changes.
Escape of water is just as common in spring
When you think of escape of water, you’re likely to imagine a pipe bursting during the winter months when it has frozen. But escape of water is just as common in spring as it is when it’s colder – in fact, escape of water is one of our top claims throughout the whole year. It’s vital that you check over any faulty pipes now (they may have become damaged during the winter) to make sure that they don’t cause you costly problems later on down the line.
Remember periodic inspections
Landlords should conduct regular periodic inspections – every quarter for new tenants, twice a year for reliable renters – throughout each tenancy, and even when the weather might be getting better. Always visit the property during the daytime and speak to your tenants as you’re going around the home to see if they’ve noticed any problems that need addressing, such as condensation. It’s also a great opportunity to highlight any areas that need maintenance before spring arrives.
Tackle any exterior problems
There are certain features of a property that can be hard hit during the springtime. For example, if your property has wooden windows, check for any blebbing (or bulging) that’s occurred during the winter. If the exterior of the property is rendered, now is the perfect time to repair any cracks that have developed in colder months. Any flat roofs, particularly those using felt, may also need to be replaced if they’re getting old in order to be covered by your insurance policy – check for any standing water, as these roofs will be high risk.
While you’re outside, look at the garden
The garden will usually have died back over winter, but with spring in the air, the flowers, trees and bushes will be blooming once more. Remind your tenants that when the warmer weather arrives, they will be responsible for maintaining the garden. If you are in between tenancies, you should work on getting the garden to a high standard before new tenants move in. Remember that you have a responsibility to keep your tenants safe, so make sure any potentially dangerous branches or patio slabs are cut back/fixed.
Watch out for theft and malicious damage
As mentioned above, tenants often move house during the springtime, so it’s a prime time for cases of theft and malicious damage by the tenant – two essential covers that are included in our policy. Of course, not every tenant will purposefully damage your property or steal items from it, but you should be extra vigilant at this time of year to avoid loss.
While spring may be a delightful and joyous time of year for many, landlords can experience certain issues during this period. Being proactive now could save you facing loss and damage when the sunshine and flowers finally do appear!