How to Avoid Problems With Boilers and Plumbing in a Rental Property
Plumbing in a rental property is one of the key areas that needs to work in order to maintain the quality of life of the tenant. Everything from being warm enough to having a working toilet and being able to shower comes under the umbrella of plumbing and not having access to one or more can cause issues between letting agent and renter.
However, there are a number of steps you can take to avoid problems with boilers and plumbing in a rental property, helping keep relations strong and lessening the chances of having to deal with a huge repair bill.
If you are a letting agent or a landlord, make sure you read these tips for preventing plumbing problems. You cannot completely guarantee everything will run smoothly, but you can put yourself in the best position possible to keep your plumbing systems working as well as possible.
Plumbing and Boiler Checks Before the Tenancy
Before you let a property, it is worth completing some thorough checks on the plumbing and boiler. No tenant wants to move into a home with niggling plumbing issues, so make sure you take the time to see that everything is as it should be. Starting each new tenancy with this clean slate encourages you to keep on top of minor problems that could easily become major issues if otherwise left unattended.
These checks should include making sure that baths and sinks drain properly and quickly. If they don’t, then you will need to work out why. Check for clogs in the plugholes and use a sink and drain cleaner to make sure everything is okay inside. If the problem persists, you should check for problems with the drains outside.
Be sure to also look out for leaks from taps, corrosion on metal pipes and that the seals on the bath, shower and sink are in tact. Bleeding the radiators and ensuring they are performing as they should will also help avoid problems with plumbing in a rental property.
You can also keep everything flowing smoothly by using the opportunity of an unoccupied property to clean out the drains and guttering. These can become clogged with leaves and other debris as time goes on. Clearing them every so often stops the build-up becoming critical.
The pipes that basically run your central heating system are hugely important. This means that you need to look after them. Make sure they are insulated to help avoid the water in them freezing and damaging the pipes. Not only would broken pipes mean that it wasn’t possible to heat the property, but the water damage could prove costly too.
You can insulate pipes using pipe wrap or foam pipe sleeves and you can also look after pipes located in the wall using wall insulation and by closing any gaps where the pipes enter or leave the wall. Keeping the water running safely around your home is an absolute necessity.
Annual Boiler Service
Having an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer is a legal requirement of landlords and letting agents. However, it also helps to keep the boiler working as efficiently and effectively as possible. Boiler performance decreases over time as the unit ages, but making sure a professional gas expert gives it the once over every 12 months helps stave off problems for as long as possible.
No one wants to find themselves without access to central heating and hot water, particularly during the colder months of the year, so giving the boiler some care and attention is a great way to avoid problems.
Annual servicing means you have the best chance of keeping the boiler at the top of its game for as long as possible, but sometimes breakdowns do happen. As with anything mechanical, parts can wear and break, leaving you to look into a repair, which could be costly to the landlord.
This is why it is worth investing in boiler cover. This means that, when there is a boiler breakdown, an expert can repair it swiftly and without leaving a massive bill. The landlord can better budget for boiler care because they pay a flat fee every month, and many boiler cover packages include replacement units if the boiler in question is deemed beyond economical repair.
When it comes to avoiding problems with boilers and plumbing in a rental property, being covered for the worst case scenario doesn’t avoid the issue completely, but does prevent those problems that do occur leaving the landlord with a huge bill or the tenants without hot water for longer than is necessary.
Issue Instructions for Tenants From the Start
The letting agent and landlord being prepared is an effective way of heading off potential problems with boilers and plumbing in a rental property, but tenants play a part too. It is worth issuing them with the emergency contacts they need, for example the agent that covers the boiler or a 24-hour plumber, as well as instructions on how to turn off the mains water.
You can also issue information warning of the dangers of washing food waste down the drain, flushing wet wipes or nappies in the toilet and other activities that could cause a blockage in the rental property.
If you want a tenancy agreement drawn up with this information in writing, we can do that as part of our outsourced property management services. We also offer maintenance duties, as well as a host of other tasks that allow you to concentrate on driving your business forward while we deal with the day to day property management.
Talk to us today to find out how we can free up your time and serve your landlords and tenants.