Prevention is always better than cure, and maintenance is better than an expensive repair or claim. But, if you’re a director or officer in a property management role, finding the time to keep on top of these things can be tricky, especially if you’re looking after more than one property.
As blocks of flats insurance specialists, we’ve put together a simple 10-point checklist to help you manage your buildings maintenance inspections.
- Inspect the guttering, chimney stacks and roof tiles – Whilst these areas require a professional to check their condition, it is the director of the block’s responsibility to hire this person to do so.
- Trim branches – This should include branches that are hanging over the roof, or that could snap and damage either your property or someone else’s.
- Check fire escapes – You should regularly test fire alarms for dead batteries and fire escapes for any obstructions or jammed doors. Doing these basic checks can help to prevent the damage caused by fires, but you should also have a comprehensive block of flats insurance policy in place as well.
- Gas inspections – As a property manager or landlord it is your responsibility to ensure these are done as per legislation. You’ll need to bring in the expertise of a professional, this check is vital in helping to prevent fires and ensuring resident’s homes have sufficient heating.
- Test all electrical appliances – If you’re a landlord, you need to ensure that an electrical engineer has checked any appliances, switches and lights in the property. If anything fails to meet the required standards you must replace it before tenants move in, failure to do this could impact your landlords insurance policy.
- Check your loft (if you have one) – Over the course of the winter, water may have found its way into your loft. A routine check of the loft can help you to prevent the problem from getting worse. While you are up there, it is also useful to measure your insulation, guidance on this can be found on the Government website.
- Test the locks – This is a basic safety check that anyone can do. You do not need to hire a professional to ensure that your property is safe and secure. Making sure the doors and windows locks is integral, even if you have a comprehensive block insurance policy.
- Look for leaks – Water damage is the biggest cause of claims from our blocks of flats insurance clients. If washing machines, dishwashers, showers, sinks and radiators go unchecked they can cause large water leaks which can cost thousands of pounds to fix, if you don’t have an adequate insurance policy in place.
- Visual external inspection of the building – It’s really important to check the brickwork of your property. You’re not only looking for obvious damage, but evidence of dampness and cracked bricks which could be a sign of subsidence.
- Inspection of the grounds – Check your gardens, driveways, pathways, patio areas, garages and carparks for any raised, uneven ground or potholes.
Lansdown Insurance Brokers are specialists in Block of flats insurance, Landlord insurance and Business insurance. We are able to provide flexible policies to suit individual client needs and provide advice on what cover is needed. For more information call the team on 01242 524498.