If they set fair rent prices on their properties and look after their tenants well, being a landlord can be a privilege. They can help people build their prospects instead of getting in the way of them.
While landlords have many responsibilities to contend with, one of the largest is maintaining the structural integrity of their properties. The potential for water leaks is one area that demands close attention. After all, one landlord lost his tenant completely because of rusty and leaking pipes, so diligent handling of these matters is required.
Landlords may approach these matters slightly differently than regular homeowners. If you’re a landlord, here’s what to do should these problems arise.
Know Your Responsibilities
The best landlords are responsible individuals. They take their duties seriously.
You can live up to that with water leaks by ensuring you know what you’re obligated to do in certain situations. For example, if the water leak occurs on your side of the meter, on a public footpath, or the near the external stop valve, you’re required to fix it. Should the water meter be the problem, the associated water company must do repairs instead.
Responsibilities for the service pipe connecting the boundaries of your property to your mains are also the water company’s responsibility. If the stop valves need repairs, the water company is legally permitted to charge you for those.
The landlord oversees supply pipe maintenance. It typically begins where the supply valve starts and runs along the road out of your property.
Knowing what’s required of you as a landlord can ensure that you don’t overreact or underreact to water leak situations. If you have to Google and consult folks about what you need to do, it can cost you valuable time in a situation that demands fast responses. Get ahead of that stress if you can.
Hire Leak Detection Experts
Water leaks need to be resolved quickly and with minimal fuss. Only reputable experts can fulfil that brief.
Try to work with a business like Miracle Leak Detection, as they conduct their inspections for free in a timely matter. They can also consult you on what coverage you might need and perform pipe leak repair services diligently. Moreover, they also bring calm to each property they work at, so they should be able to address your tenant’s concerns and keep them composed too. They work predominantly in Hertfordshire and Surrey but can work across the UK.
As a landlord, you must do your best to look after your tenants. Hiring an expert, reliable, and long-established service should be your go-to response to water leaks, ensuring you provide the best car for your tenants possible.
Assess the Tenant’s Situation
Water leaks can occur for various reasons, such as sudden temperature changes or even just the age of the piping. Tenant interference can not only be a cause, but it can also exacerbate the problem too.
For example, if a tenant discovers water leaks and engages in pipe leak repair solutions without your permission, it can be a stark violation of the tenancy agreement. In those circumstances, it may be advisable to seek compensation, especially if the work was of poor quality and has worsened matters.
It’s not nice to assume the worst of your tenants, but important safeguards should be in place. Namely, landlord insurance is crucial, as it can protect you from some malicious damage tenants can intentionally cause to aggravate their landlords. The coverage will also protect you from accidental damages too. Additional extensions may also protect tenants’ possessions from water damage, which can help you go the extra mile for them. In the end, you’ll be thankful for coverage if there’s excess water damage and flooding.
Discussing Matters with Tenants
While landlords and tenants shouldn’t be discussing water leaks too often, it can be helpful to have a discussion before these problems arise. If you’re on the same page in advance, it can prevent a lot of water leak-related headaches.
Even if the tenancy agreement has outlined expectations, the details can be forgotten after months and years have passed. A conversation on the most important points might be better remembered. Therefore, useful things to discuss with your tenant include:
- The repair service you might use – this may prevent the tenant from going rogue and acting without your permission.
- Requests to allow insurance surveyors into the property – Nobody likes strangers milling about in their homes. Still, if you give tenants notice, they may be more accommodating and cause less fuss.
- The need to stay in touch if problems occur – Tenants should be encouraged to reach out when they have suspicions about leaks or discover them.
It’s important to foster better landlord and tenant dynamics. Often, there can be tensions and hostility between them. If you keep communication lines open, you can teamwork to problem solve. Water leaks can be frustrating enough on their own, so it’s important to come together rather than let these unfortunate events create further divisions.
3 Surefire Ways to Prevent Water Damage To Your Property
1. Maintain Roof
When it rains, it pours. If your property is located in an area with heavy rain or snowfall, maintaining your roof is essential to preventing water damage. Even the tiniest hole in your roof can lead to a massive burst of water through your ceiling. It doesn’t take a large hole for water to seep into your property.
Once rainfall gets through your ceiling, it can damage drywall. Most roof leak instances require homeowners to cut out damaged drywall in the ceilings and walls. Saving moist drywall is extremely rare. Plus, you want to avoid moisture build-up because that can lead to black mold issues.
How do you prevent roof leaks? Noticing a hole in your roof before a water leak occurs is nearly impossible unless you are properly maintaining your roof. Start by regularly checking on your roof via a ladder every month. From the ground, you won’t notice much. However, once you’re high enough to see the entire roof, problem areas will be easier to spot. Of course, practice safety when operating a ladder and climbing on top of your roof.
Fix any holes in your roof that you see immediately. Depending on the material your roof is made of, you can use that same material to fix the weak area. Another part of the roof that is often left to the wayside by homeowners is the gutters. If gutters clog, it can allow water and debris to build up on top of the roof. Eventually, this weight can damage the roofing material and create a hole that water will leak into. Maintain your entire roof, including your gutters, to prevent water damage in your home.
2. Finish the Basement
Basements are another common area of the home where moisture builds up and water damage occurs. For example, if you have an unfinished basement, water from floods will have easier access into your property through the basement walls. Even if most of the basement is made of concrete, that doesn’t mean it’s completely dry-sealed.
An unfinished basement is also vulnerable to flooding and water damage from neighbors. The root cause doesn’t necessarily need to be a natural disaster or flood. If your neighbor’s irrigation system breaks or sewer pipes burst, water could seep unground from their property to yours. This can lead to water buildup in your basement and eventually water damage. Unfinished basements can be drained and dried if large amounts of water enter them. However, any nearby wooden beams on the ceiling or drywall can easily get permanently damaged.
You can prevent water damage in your basement by finishing it with materials that are more immune to moisture. There are specific waterproofing materials that you can add to your finished basement as protection. Not only is it protected when finishing a basement properly, but it also becomes a usable room to spend time in.
3. Monitor Plumbing
Plumbing issues are a major cause of water damage in residential homes. Especially if your property is an older home, the plumbing could be on its last leg without you even knowing. Pipe leaks can happen slowly or very fast. For slow pipe leaks, you can usually identify them once water spots appear in the drywall. Another common sighting of a plumbing leak is when the flooring around your toilet or shower becomes soft or bubbly.
Extreme pipe leaks happen fast. There isn’t much you can do to prevent them once they’ve happened. However, there are ways to avoid plumbing leaks from the start.
Complete an inspection of your property’s current piping infrastructure. This can include things like running a sewer scope through your sewer line to check for any potential small cracks or clogs. Ruptured sewer lines are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. This renovation usually requires you to dig up the sewer line, replace it, and then bury it again. If there is concrete in your way, you’ll need to jackhammer that and then replace the concrete too. It’s not a cheap renovation!
Prevent this water damage from occurring by checking and monitoring your property.