With the hectic festive schedule looming, you need a few Christmas tips for landlords to keep everything smoothly ticking over.
Here, we’ll explain why this time of year can be so tricky for landlords and provide you with our top tips to help you see it through to the new year.
What makes Christmas tricky for landlords?
These are just some of the potential risks your buy-to-let enterprise might face over the Christmas period:
- Fire safety: Fire-related insurance claims increase by 120% during December. Tenants are likely to cook more often and use the heating more throughout the Christmas period, both of which increase fire risk. Christmas decorations – especially lights, candles and paper ornaments – also pose a significant risk.
- Burglary: Home theft increases by 36% in the winter months, with the period around Christmas seeing the most burglaries. Thieves know houses will be full of expensive gifts, and that tenants are more likely to be out celebrating or visiting family.
- Basic upkeep: Standard landlord queries will still crop up during December. Some issues – such as water leaks caused by burst pipes – are common at this time of year. However, it’s less likely you or your tenants will be around to spot these and take the necessary action when it’s needed.
Our top Christmas tips for landlords
So, now you know more about the potential risks, here are our top Christmas tips for landlords to help you rest easy:
1) Notifying tenants of risks
You can assume a degree of common sense from your tenants. However, spelling out potential risks and your expectations can help nip any potential issues in the bud.
Send tenants a friendly message with some key safety tips/reminders. Also, reiterate that their contents won’t be covered by your insurance policy.
For fire prevention, recommend they avoid:
- Overloading the property with decorations
- Using the same plug socket for multiple devices
- Cooking overnight/when no one is present
- Leaving Christmas lights on overnight
- Deploying additional heaters
- Hanging stockings/decorations near fireplaces/heat sources
- Leaving candles or naked flames unattended
To protect against burglary, recommend they:
- Hide presents when not in use
- Close curtains when venturing out
- Check all doors/windows are locked
- Inform you of when they’re going away
Think about combining this reminder with a Christmas card/small gift to ensure your message is well-received.
2) Conducting winter maintenance
Carrying out winter maintenance now could save you from an unwanted call-out later. Make sure you’ve checked everything, including:
- Fire alarm
- Burglar alarm
- External lights/motion sensors
- Window/door locks
Fix any outstanding issues before tradespeople start shutting down for the holidays.
3) Checking your insurance policy
With so many potential risks, it’s worth checking your insurance policy in the run-up to Christmas.
Find out precisely what you’re covered for, and whether there are any glaring omissions.
If you’re planning to travel over Christmas, you might want to set up a home-emergency policy. That way should any of these risks come to fruition, you can get someone sent out quickly.
Use these Christmas tips for landlords to help keep everything running smoothly and ensure you can take a well-earned, worry-free winter break.
Get the expert financial guidance you need to shut up shop for Christmas with confidence by calling on the friendly 3 Wise Bears team.