Letting your property for the first time is far from easy – there’s so much legislation that you need to consider. Legislation that requires you to take particular care of your heating system. Fail to do so and you could risk hefty fines.
Investigate the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1985 and it clearly states that as a landlord you’ll be responsible for maintaining not only the boiler, but the radiators and plumbing systems too. As well as water and gas pipes. Moreover, as a landlord you cannot pass the cost of these repairs onto your tenants.
So, if the boiler shuts down, you’re liable to get it fixed fast, otherwise you risk being fined up to £5000 by the Environmental Health Department! Want to discover how not to run into fines like this? Read on…
1. Educate your tenant
The first step and arguably most vital step of keeping tenants ‘heating-happy’ is educating them on its proper use. A precaution that should mean you’re replacing, repairing, and servicing the boiler less often.
For instance, give tenants a clear idea of how to keep an eye on the boiler pressure and let more water into the system – what you’ll need to do to increase the pressure. It might also be wise to show tenants how to operate the heating properly, like switching it on for a few hours during the summer to ensure everything works smoothly.
Another handy tip would be to show them how to use your boiler’s timing function. That way when the property is vacant during the winter, it’ll help prevent the pipes from freezing.
Ventilation is also another tip for landlords to consider. You see, most boilers require ventilation to ensure smooth operation. What this means is that storing items in the boiler cupboard wouldn’t perhaps be a wise idea. Do so and you could be depriving the boiler of much needed oxygen.
3. Following the servicing obligations
As a landlord, you also have the responsibility to keep the boiler serviced. It’s a legal obligation to get them serviced once a year by a professional! They’re also required to have the correct gas certificates to show they’re certified by the Gas Safe Register. A copy of which must be given to your tenants.
In the case new tenants are moving in, you should also provide them with the most recent gas safety check record too.
4. Bleed radiators in-between tenants
When air gets stuck inside radiator pipes, it not only makes them less effective but also less efficient. Therefore, bleeding them in-between tenancies would be a wise idea, as it would if the pressure drops. To do this, all you need is a special radiator bleeding key that you can pick up from the local hardware shop for a couple of pounds. Some heating companies will even give you them for free.
5. Get breakdown cover
With heating being costly to maintain, keeping costs to a minimum is essential; the cost of replacing a boiler can be eye-watering. Something you can easily do by investing in a form of boiler breakdown cover – well worth the cost, especially if it saves you the £4,762 it’d cost you to make a boiler replacement. Hardly great news for your rental yield.
We’d recommend opting for a comprehensive policy, which gives you annual servicing and fast callouts all for as little as £7 a month.
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Myles is a first class ‘word nerd’ currently working at the heart of the property industry. He’s particularly passionate about all-things property, interiors and D.I.Y.
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