Could your house be stealing money from you without you knowing?

24th July 2019

You know those little jobs around the house that you keep meaning to get to but put off for another day? Or those places in the house where you know something’s not quite right and you should probably look at it, but never quite find the time? These little jobs and quirks could be stealing your money or the hard-earned money of your tenants without you realising. They could be racking up household bills or causing more damage that will eventually cost a lot to fix. Here are some of the main ones that we urge you to check, and if you’re not sure whether it’s your responsibility or your tenants to fix something, we’ve written a handy guide about that too here. Here are some pointers from our Property Managers to help you save costs and inconveniences whether you own a residential, commercial or block building:

Secretly leaking toilets

It’s not uncommon for toilets to leak very slightly and very quietly without anyone realising. There are a few ways to spot a leaking toilet and it’s worth remembering to check every now and again. The most disappointing way to work out that your toilet is leaking is to receive a much higher water bill, so hopefully, you can catch the leak before it gets to that. Another way to check is to see if the water in the toilet bowl is moving or rippling slightly even if it hasn’t been used for an hour. This means there is a small trickle of water flowing in. If the leak has been going on for some time, the toilet cistern will need to refill itself. This is when it’s more obvious as it will start making noises as it fills up. If your toilet starts refilling itself even if it hasn’t been used, you know that something’s not quite right! Sometimes a leak is an easy fix, and there are plenty of how-to videos but you may prefer to call a plumber instead.

Thirsty gardens

If you’re on a water meter and are charged for water usage and wastewater and you regularly water your garden or plants with tap water then you could be wasting a small fortune. A water butt is an excellent low-cost solution to collect and store rainwater so that you can water your garden for free.

Blocked guttering

This is a classic cause of leaks and is not just a problem in the autumn. Summer blossom can block guttering too. A blocked gutter can force water to trickle into places it shouldn’t go to, and cause mould and cracks. If not attended to, this can mean redecorating is on the cards and at worst, plaster or rendering could need replacing.

Standby energy drain

If you have a smart meter then you’ll probably already be aware of the energy that electrical appliances and devices can use even if you think they’re “off”. Appliances left in standby mode can still cost money in electricity charges. Try to make a habit of switching everything off at the wall at night – which is also a great fire prevention action too! A little known energy efficiency tip if you run a freezer is to keep your freezer as full as possible. This cuts out the empty space that the freezer has to cool and makes it more energy efficient.

Airflow errors

Parts of the house that aren’t sealed properly can let in small drafts of air. In the winter, this obviously makes it colder and means you’ll probably notch the heating up more than you really need to. In the summer, it will make the house feel hotter and tempt you to turn the fan on. Check windows and doors and make sure the seals are still intact and check inside fitted wardrobes and cupboards. If you have any air vents in the property, make sure these are correctly sealed around the edges too.

Our Property Management team inspects our clients’ properties on a regular basis to ensure that minor repairs don’t go un-noticed. If you think you’d benefit from support in managing your tenanted or investment properties, please do get in touch.


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