The results of a snap survey by Simple Landlords Insurance has revealed that large numbers of landlords are more likely to send Christmas cards than safety advice.
Some landlords are set to go further with planned gifts including chocolates or sweets, wine and even presents for tenants’ children. However, a generous 2% are really planning to get into the festive spirit saying that they would give money off rent for the Christmas holiday.
Of those that said they would not do anything (54%), the vast majority (80%) said they did not think it was appropriate to send a card or give a gift as being a landlord is a business, whilst just over one in ten cited worries that their tenants may be offended on religious or personal grounds.
A minority of landlords were also conscious of the additional risks posed to property and possessions over December.
One in five (21%) said they ask their tenants to inform them if they are going away for more than a few days over the period, 16% remind tenants that the risk of burglary increases in December and 11% send reminders about rules on candles or Christmas lights.
Richard Truman from Simple Landlords Insurance says: “We would encourage landlords to get in touch with their tenants ahead of the Christmas fortnight, if only to help them avoid the heightened risk from burglary, fire and flood over the holiday period.
Landlords could include a safety checklist in any Christmas or New Year’s card they send as a gentle reminder to let them know if they are going to be away, to alert tenatns to the heightened risk of being burgled, highlight the dangers of Christmas lights and candles – and stress the importance of smoke alarms.”
The statistics back up the heightened risks. From 2014 to 2016, the number of Christmas burglaries leapt by 20% from 5,222 to 6,278, whilst charity Electrical Safety Firsts reports average 11% spike in house fires over the festive season.
A sudden cold snap, or down pour, can also cause damage – another reason to ensure landlords know if tenants are going to be away for any period of time.