Boiler Warning to Landlords: Winter is Not Over

• February record month for broken down boilers – repair claims 163 per cent higher than the monthly average 

• 27 per cent increase in claims on broken boilers between winter 2014/15 and winter 2015/16

• Average pay-out on a broken down boiler stands at almost £1,200 

New analysis by landlord insurer Direct Line for Business reveals February is the peak month for boiler repair claims, up 163 per cent compared to the monthly average. Last winter the insurer saw a 27 per cent increase in claims on broken down boilers compared to the previous year, and with the Met Office recently issuing a severe weather warning for the UK, this winter could see even more claims being made. 

With the average malfunctioning boiler costing almost £1,200 to fix, Direct Line for Business is advising landlords that prevention is better than cure and that they shouldn’t be complacent despite surviving sub-zero winter temperatures. 

Christina Dimitrov, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business said: “Being caught out without heating in the winter can be particularly unpleasant, so landlords should make sure their properties have fully serviced boilers to help ensure their tenants don’t have heating issues. Landlords are legally responsible for securing a safety certificate for gas appliances each year and they also need to ensure the heating and hot water systems are maintained and functioning properly.” 

“The insurer offers boiler cover as standard with buildings insurance, and as long as the damage is not due to wear 

and tear, they will pay the cost of repairing or replacing a broken down boiler. Plus, they will provide tenants with portable heaters to help them try and stay warm while the issue is being fixed.” 

Direct Line for Business has put together the following top tips for boiler maintenance this winter: 

Keep your heating on low: Sudden cold temperatures can freeze your boilers external condensate pipe which could cause your boiler to stop working. Insulating the pipes can help or try keeping the heating on low when it’s very cold. 

Bleed your radiators: If your property isn’t getting as warm as you think it should be, there may be air trapped inside the heating system. Releasing air from the system is simple but you will need a key which can slot into the radiators bleed valve. If you still have a problem after doing this, you may need to call in the professionals. 

Keep your boiler maintained: Make sure you service your boiler and keep it maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Check regularly for any warning signs such as leeks, cracks or noises as the sooner you can identify a problem, the easier it will be to fix. 

If you’re considering buying a rental property and would like more information on the responsibilities and obligations associated with being a landlord, or for more tips and guidance, please visit the Landlord Knowledge Centre: www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk/knowledge-centre/landlord-knowledge-cent...

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