Why Water Leaks are a Landlord’s Worst Nightmare (and How to Prevent Them)
One of the negative aspects of being a landlord is that you own a property that can get damaged, both accidentally and intentionally, because tenants may not look after the property as well as if it was their own home. Most damage will usually be cosmetic and fairly easy to repair but some types of damage can cost you a significant amount of money and impact whether you make a profit on your rental.
A water leak can be one of the most severe problems you can face as a landlord, depending on the cause of the leak, how much water escapes and how quickly the leak is identified and repaired to stop more water from leaking.
In some cases, an unidentified leak can occur for a long period of time, with the damage worsening as it continues to leak into the structure of the building. It might not be obvious because it is hidden, for example, pipes that run under floorboards or it could be that the tenant does not report the issue, or the house could be empty for a while. Signs of a water leak can be difficult to notice until an extensive amount of damage has been caused.
A leak coming from an upstairs bathroom could damage a whole ceiling in the room underneath, with water potentially leaking through electrical light fittings. In some situations, the ceiling may start to sag as the plasterboard has been damaged or water could run down the walls and cause damage to the room below.
If you have carpets and furniture in the room, these could all get damaged by water and need replacing. There is also a possibility that the structure of the property, such as the wooden joists could rot through prolonged water damage. The costs of the repairs and replacing items can escalate to thousands of pounds, so it is important that suspected water leaks can be quickly identified and the necessary repairs are made to prevent any more water damage.
Insurance policies for water leaks
Taking out adequate insurance is very important as a landlord to keep your property protected and not all insurance policies cover trace & access. Most policies will cover the damage caused by a water leak, for example, replacing a carpet or re-plastering a ceiling but you should check your policy before taking it out to ensure it includes trace & access. If you do not have the cover, you will have to pay for the leak to be traced.
Choosing a company that you can rely on to quickly come and locate the source of the leak is very important, whether you are instructing them yourself, or your insurer tells you to find a local service.
Find out more about our water leak detection service.