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Protecting your property in the heat

Homes in Great Britain are designed principally to keep the warmth in when winter’s cold begins to bite. They are not designed as living spaces during very hot weather.

If you are the landlord of let property, that home is unlikely to have been designed with scorching temperatures in mind – so how might you protect your property and your tenants in the heat?

Prevent burst pipes

  • the winter’s scourge of burst pipes is probably the last thing you’d worry about in the summertime;
  • but extreme weather could lead to disturbed foundations and structural shifts that damage pipes, the effect of very hot weather heating and distorting the pipes, blocked drains, and the accumulated effects of hard water;
  • so check for clogged drains, have a water softener installed, and cover any exposed pipework with insulation to block the extreme rays of the sun;

Check for subsidence

It follows from this warning that you will do well to check for any signs of subsidence – or, indeed, any structural changes your let property might have suffered because of the extremely hot weather.

For more information, please see our blog: Subsidence – what causes it, and what about subsidence insurance?

Fire safety

  • ensure electrical systems are not overloaded, as heat can increase the risk of electrical fires;
  • keep a fire extinguisher readily accessible and ensure everyone in the household knows how to use it;
  • clear dry vegetation and flammable materials from around the property to reduce fire risk;

Keep drains and gutters clear

  • the longer the dry weather goes on, the more likely you’re going to forget those gutters and downpipes that make up your rainwater goods;
  • indeed, the debris that normally collects in those fittings will have been baked rock hard by the scorching sun – and the first you’ll know of any blockages will be the first outburst of heavy rain;
  • pre-empt any problems or emergencies by clearing blocked drains and gutters now – and keeping them clear while you await that first downpour;

Keep cool and carry on

In the heat of the day, it’s going to be much hotter outside than it is inside – it might be worthwhile reminding your tenants how to keep as cool as possible inside their home;

  • advise them to try to preserve some of the cooler air by closing windows and curtains to keep the heat of the midday sun away from heating up the indoors;
  • install ceiling fans or use portable fans to improve air circulation;
  • open windows during the cooler parts of the day to allow fresh air in and close them during the hottest times;
  • limit the use of heat-generating appliances such as ovens and stoves during peak heat times;

Mirror, mirror on the wall

  • something that might be easy to overlook is the – potentially lethal danger – of reflected light from mirrors in the home;
  • with the intensity of the sun’s rays during any heatwave, reflected beams can be strong enough to set fire to anything at all inflammable in the room;
  • urge your tenants to remove mirrors from direct sunlight and take them down from the wall during the height of extremely hot and bright weather.


British homes are not designed for extremely hot weather so you and your tenants may need to take special care to keep as cool as possible during any heatwave – protecting both property and people from the damaging effects of the weather outside.

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