With the schools broken-up for summer holidays, we’re reminding landlords to cover-up in the sunny weather – and we’re not talking about sun cream and sun hats!

While we see more claims in the winter months as pipes freeze, boilers start working harder and storms batter properties -that doesn’t mean the summer months are risk free, or that here at Simple Landlords Insurance we’re sitting twiddling our thumbs.

There are still plenty of claims to deal with over summer, and hidden risks for landlords and properties…

1. Theft

Hot weather means open windows, and tenants don’t always remember to close or lock them. That could be an open invitation to thieves, and could result in damage to your building or contents.

In fact, according to the BBC, crime goes up with the thermometer across the world. In fact the Met reckon between April and June 2018 violent crime was on average 14% higher when the temperature was above 20 degrees than when it’s below 10 degrees.

Meanwhile North Yorkshire police blame people being outside drinking in the sunshine.

Spoil sports.

2. Fire

The Mirror reported recently on a fire at a pensioner’s house in Bognor Regis, caused by a glass ornament left on a windowsill in direct sunlight. Then you’ve got the added risk of tenants plugging in their own un-PAT tested fans - and leaving them on for long periods to keep cool.

We know things burn better in dry conditions anyway, and with a hosepipe ban on the way things are already pretty dry. Add to that the Great British Obsession with barbeques – and fire really does become the number 2 risk of the summer months. Check out barbeque safety advice from the fire service here.

3. Pests

We’re not the only ones enjoying the sunshine! Wasps, bees, ants and mice are also out and about and causing a nuisance to your tenants (and subsequently to you), with Rentokil predicting a bumper year in particular for ants and flying ants.

The most likely culprits for property damage are rodents, who chew through anything in their way – including electrical wires.

Richard Truman, Head of Operations at Simple Landlords Insurance, said: “Look, we don’t want to be killjoys (like the North Yorkshire police!) For the most part, happy tenants enjoying their home can only be a GOOD thing for landlords. On the other hand, we do believe in being prepared.

We know 1 in 4 landlords don’t have the right insurance. At some point this summer, it’s well worth checking you’ve got the basics in place – like landlords buildings and contents insurance and legal liability cover. It’s also worth having a chat to your tenants about security, and making sure your fire safety procedures and equipment are up to date.

“Inspections in particular are key. Spotting potential risks could stop a small issue becoming a big problem – for instance by catching pests early, asking for vases to be moved off windowsills, or by cutting back overgrowth near barbequing areas.

“Cover up for summer, and don’t get burnt by an accident or damage to your property.”

Remember, it’s not all high risks and doom and gloom! The GOOD news for landlords is that the summer is also a great time to do maintenance.

Things like external decoration, damp proofing, garden maintenance, clearing gutters and doing any building work are all easier in the warmer and dryer months - getting your property ready to weather the winter weather.

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!