With much of Britain still grappling with the aftermath of Storm Dennis, Melissa Choules, Senior Claims Handler at Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance highlights the importance of protecting your property and your tenants from severe weather:

“Many were affected by the disruption caused by Storm
Dennis over the weekend, and as expected, we have been receiving a large number of claims from customers whose properties were seriously damaged by the storm. The high volume of weather-related claims this week highlights just how severe the weather conditions were over the weekend.”

“Storm-related claims can result in particularly high pay outs. For example, in 2019, we paid out £13,111 for a single storm damage claim.”

“High winds damaged some roof tiles and as a result there was water ingress into the property causing damage to the kitchen, hallway and two bedroom ceilings and floors. Therefore loss of rent was included as well as the property was deemed non-tenantable whilst the works were taking place.”

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“If the customer did not have an insurance policy in place, they would have suffered a severe financial loss. This shows how important it is to be well prepared and not overlook the danger of extreme weather conditions.”

What can landlords do to prepare for storms?

Storm damage during the winter season is one of the most common types of insurance claim, particularly damage involving roof tiles cracking, trees falling into properties, flooding, and fences collapsing. At Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance, 64 per cent of all storm claims made between January 2014 and January 2019 were related to roof damage. And the average claim value for this type of damage was £2310.

It’s within landlords’ best interests to know how to protect their properties and their tenants from severe weather and storms.

Top tips for landlords:

  1. Keep an eye on the weather forecast

Regularly check the weather forecast and keep an eye out for extreme weather. If severe conditions are predicted, be sure to contact your tenant and plan a visit so that you can inspect the property in advance and make sure that it is secure. This will help to reduce the risk of damage to your property as well as the possibility of your tenants or anyone else in the area being hurt – for example, by strong winds causing a loose roof tile to fall to the ground.

2. Carry out preparations in advance

Making last minute emergency preparations for your rental property can be very difficult, especially if you live far away. This is why it’s important to make preparations well in advance of an emergency. This will also require you to arrange a suitable time with your tenant.

Here are some key steps you can take to prepare your rental property for stormy conditions:

  • Secure all fences
  • Secure outdoor furniture
  • Check for vulnerable trees
  • Check the roof
  • Check windows and doors

3. Maintain regular communication with your tenants

It will be much easier to secure your property if you have an amicable and communicative relationship with your tenants. Establish a clear and consistent channel for communication so that if they have any concerns to report about the property they can contact you easily. This will allow you to identify any vulnerable areas in your property before they are compromised by severe weather conditions and storms.

4. Carry out regular inspections

In addition to keeping in regular contact with your tenants, you should also visit the property to inspect it. Inspections can be carried out once every six months or so, and the tenant will need to be notified in writing that you will be carrying out regular visits. The notice period for carrying out a visit should be outlined in the tenancy agreement.

Although you may want to check the overall condition of the property, it’s important to pay close attention to aspects of the property that could be affected by a storm, such as the exterior, roof and garden area.

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to protecting your property against storms. Be vigilant and prepare your rental property for severe weather conditions. This is particularly true during the winter season, when storms are more likely to hit the UK.

For more information, download Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance’s guide, Protecting your rental property against storms.  

Having a comprehensive landlord insurance policy in place can help to provide an added layer of security and peace of mind.

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