The National Landlords Association (NLA) has issued guidelines on how to protect properties from the effects of cold weather, after last winter saw a large spike in claims due to frozen pipes bursting.

NLA Property Insurance saw a 48% increase in claims during December 2010 and January 2011, for damage caused by weather-related flooding in rented properties.

Landlords can take simple steps to reduce the risk of flooding including:

•    Ensure all pipes are adequately insulated

•    Check overflow pipes are correctly connected and not blocked

•    Leave the heating on a low setting if the property is vacated for any period during winter

•    Give the tenant an emergency contact phone number

•    If flooding does occur, ensure repairs are done as quickly as possible.

Steve Barnes, Broking Manager, NLA Property Insurance, commented

“Landlords should ensure their properties are properly protected during winter.  Last year’s extreme cold resulted in a spate of claims due to frozen pipes bursting.

“It is vital landlords have the correct and up-to-date insurance in case the unthinkable happens.”

David Salusbury, Chairman, National Landlords Association, commented:

“Flooding can cause many thousands of pounds in damage to a property and make it uninhabitable for the tenant.  Landlords should protect their property and their investment by ensuring that they have a policy that covers them for such damage.”