Tenants and landlords may consider guarding properties against floods, after it was announced that a big thaw will follow the cold snap.

Zurich Municipal said that this weekend could see heavy rain combined with warmer temperatures than the UK has been seeing.

Landlords with properties in areas affected by heavy snow may therefore have to consider contingency plans for flooding.

Head of local government at the company Andrew Jepp said: "Simple steps, such as reminding yourselves of the location of stopcocks …checking external gutters and soffits where water can gather reduces the risk of blockages and subsequent overflowing of water into the building."

When a flood occurs there is often little warning and there may already be excess surface weather due to the ice and snow, Mr Jepp advised.

Councils should review and update their business continuity plans before the country is hit by more severe weather, he added.

Yesterday (January 13th) Virgin Money Home Insurance reported that burst water pipes could be a problem for many Britons.

A home affected by water escape problems could see insurance claims of £3,000, it was claimed.

Written by Sarah FieldADNFCR-2002-ID-19558359-ADNFCR

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