How to make an auction property safe and warm for the future

When buying a property at auction you expect to undertake some work on the property before you sell it on or offer it out to let. The scale of the work can vary dramatically, but one thing is for sure, you need to ensure that any works completed are done so to a high standard. If you decide to let your auction property out, it is essential that you know your responsibilities when it comes to tenant safety.

Should someone suffer an injury as a direct result of poor workmanship, or non-compliance, you could face criminal action and damaging financial compensation claims.

Every year, thousands of homes are purchased that could prove life threatening due to an incident with gas, such as a carbon monoxide leak. Research has shown that many investors fail to undertake expensive repairs to boilers, cookers, fires, and radiators, as well as have a Gas Safety check undertaken.

The good news is that, according to a study carried out by CORGI HomePlan, Wales is the safest region, with almost 80% of those surveyed stating that they had instructed a Gas Safe engineer to inspect their property. However, the item most commonly overlooked was the boiler, with 39% of respondents stating that they failed to have it tested by a qualified engineer.

Kevin Treanor, Director of CORGI HomePlan, commented: “Carbon monoxide still kills around 50 people a year, and every one of these deaths is avoidable. People must minimise the risks by making sure all their gas appliances are in full working order.” 

Thankfully, it is now a legal requirement that rental properties are fitted with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, although it is good practice to install them in any property that you are renovating.

If you are in the process of buying a property, you may wish to future-proof it whilst you undertake your works. What do we mean? In 2018 it will be a legal requirement for a private rented property to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least an E. Currently, it is a legal requirement to provide an EPC certificate as part of the lettings process, which should be displayed when your property is advertised for rent.

Therefore, if you know that your property may not fare well in regard to energy efficiency, isn’t it worth undertaking additional works now to ensure it receives above an E rating, rather than having to invest in additional works in the latter part of next year?

When you buy a property at auction you have the gift of being able to transform it into something fresh. But as your creative juices are flowing, don’t just think about the property’s needs for today, but also those for the future. Ensuring the new owners or tenants are safe and warm should be your priority, as the consequences could prove heartbreaking in many ways.