Landlord and property

Roofing help sheet

If you’ve had reports from your tenants or you yourself are concerned that your buy-to-let property has encountered damage to the roof during severe weather conditions, and you want to inspect/repair the damage – take precautions. Don’t try to do so during the poor weather, due to the danger of high winds and even the possibility of a lightning strike.

After damage has been caused...

If your property has suffered from roof damage and you don’t live near your rental property or don’t have time to visit, ask your tenants a few simple questions to help you understand the extent of the damage:

  • Is it the roof to the main house or is it the garage/shed/etc. roof?

  • Do you know how severe the damage is? Can you see the damage?

  • Is water leaking into the property?

  • Does the damage involve a chimney?

  • If semi/terraced – is the damaged area over the neighbours property as well?

  • Which part of the roof is affected - is it the ridge (at the top), at one end, tiles/slates in the centre, etc?

  • Is it a flat roof or pitched? If pitched, what is the covering e.g. slates, concrete tiles, clay tiles?

  • How did the damage occur?

  • When did the damage occur (or when did you notice it)?

  • Is there any danger to people in the household, neighbours or anyone else?

  • Is there any danger of damage to contents in the property?

  • Is the property habitable?

You’ll need this information in order to make a claim through your buildings insurance.

To avoid further damage while waiting for an engineer, your tenants can take the following measures to protect the inside of the building and their belongings:

  • Lay plastic sheeting over any possessions that are below a leak.

  • Find something to collect the dripping water.

  • If water is dripping onto papers or an item of value, then move the item.

It sounds simple, but may be things your tenants don’t think of in an emergency.

Possible causes of roof damage:

  • Lack of maintenance

  • Damage from tree branches

  • Flashing leaks

  • Slipping slates/tiles

  • Storm, hail or fire damage

  • Torn or no roofing felt

  • Dented metal roof vents

  • Damage from satellite mounts

  • Missing metal roof panels

  • Broken or out of place tiles

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This post was contributed by Property Consortium.