Landlords beware: freezing temperatures may lead to boom in boiler breakdowns this winter
Landlords are advised to make sure that their boilers are in top shape for the cold months as breakdowns were up last year.
- Boiler technicians on red alert as sub-zero “Super El Nino” set to batter Britain
- Last winter saw a 37 per cent increase in claims for broken down boilers
- The average claims cost for repairing or replacing a broken down boiler currently stands at £1,179
- Landlords advised to make sure they have the right cover in place this winter
- Check out our infographic on boiler breakdowns
With forecasters predicting the worst storms in Britain for 144 years this winter, temperatures are set to fall as low as -14˚C1. Landlords are being advised to make sure that their boilers are in good condition ahead of the cold weather.
New analysis2 from Direct Line for Business reveals that the number of broken down boiler claims increased by over a third (37 per cent) last winter (2014) compared to 2013. Compared to winter 2012 the increase was even more significant, standing at 151 per cent.
The main reasons for boiler breakdown include the heat exchanger cracking or rapturing, valves failing, seals leaking, circuit fault and frozen pipes.
Jane Guaschi, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business commented: “Winter, unsurprisingly, sees a spike in claims for boiler breakdowns, so we hope that landlords have safeguarded their properties against catastrophes over the cold snap. Making sure the boiler is regularly serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer can help avoid any future disruption and can also ensure maximum efficiency of the central heating system. It’s a good idea to schedule the service for the boiler at the same time as the annual mandatory Gas Safety Check (CP12).
“However, we appreciate that keeping track of when boiler services and safety checks are due can be a challenge for landlords. This is why Direct Line for Business has developed the Mobile Landlord App which can help landlords keep on top of their maintenance schedules by enabling them to set reminders.”
The Mobile Landlord app enables landlords to manage up to five properties on the go and is free to download on both iOS and Android.
Top tips for keeping homes heated this winter:
- Keep your heating on low: Modern condensing boilers are susceptible to frozen pipes so you should ask your tenants to keep the heating low rather than turn it off completely.
- Bleed your radiators: If your property isn’t getting as warm as you think it should be, there may be air trapped inside the system. If you still have a problem after doing this, you may need to call in the professionals.
- Get your boiler serviced: It’s a good idea to get your boiler serviced once a year – especially if it is towards the end of its life-span. Boilers generally last around 12 years, so if they’re getting older it can work out a lot cheaper to service than to replace them.
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:
Notes to editors
1 Met Office weather forecast, November 2015
2 Analysis of Direct Line for Business’s claims data, January 2010 – September 2015. Winter months cover December to February.
For further information please contact:
Direct Line for Business
Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or online.
Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.