While fire and theft sound like far more dangerous enemies to your property, water is in fact the most threatening of all possible problems that could befall your house or flat. Having a good insurance policy - be it landlords building insurance, or whichever policy type is most appropriate to you - is of course a given, but considering the stress that water damage can cause, prevention is most certainly preferable. Below is a check list of ways to help prevent water from damaging your property:
Take the time to clear your gutters and drains on a regular basis, and keep an eye out for loose tiles where water might get in.
Ensure that any air bricks you have in your property are clean, thus maximising the level of your property's ventilation.
If you see a leak, get it fixed as soon as possible - water can cause damage at an alarming rate and acting fast can reduce it. Emphasise the importance of this to any tenants you may have.
Keep your property well ventilated. Consider a dehumidifier if damp is a problem.
Ensure your pipes are well insulated: a pipe that freezes can then burst when the ice inside thaws. Pipes also burst when the pipe is still frozen because of the build up of pressure due to the ice blockage, they can also burst because of the expansion of the ice too.
Perhaps the most important thing you need to know is: the location of your stop cock and how to turn it off.