Winter is upon us. There is no hiding the fact that we’re all wearing an extra layer, the gloves are on, and even though we may have resisted for a while, the heating is certainly keeping us warm at night. However, this season can also play havoc with your property unless you take steps to maintain and look after it. Both landlords and tenants can play their part to ensure no issues arise this winter
Autumn is a beautiful month, with all the leaves falling off the trees in their warm rich tones of red and orange, but they can leave havoc in their wake if they block gutters and drains. If you haven’t done an annual check on your property, we would advise that you organise this to be done before the temperature drops even further.
Blocked gutters can cause drips down the side of your property; if unresolved, damp can creep in and larger issues develop. All of this can be avoided by undertaking an annual check of your gutters and drains.
Mould is a common issue this time of year, and it can develop due to issues both outside and inside the property. Tenants, it’s easy to just concentrate on keeping warm but we must remind you that, even though it’s cold outside it’s still important to ventilate the property to prevent damp from developing.
Damp can arise due to poor ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens, where heat is also prevalent. Drying clothes inside can also encourage damp and mould to develop unless the correct ventilation is in place.
As the temperatures start to drop there is a risk of pipes freezing, which, if they burst, can cause leaks and flooding. Tenants, if you’re leaving the property empty for a period of time to visit friends and family, don’t switch off your heating entirely, just keep it on a low temperature to stop the pipes from freezing.
Landlords, this advice is also important for you, especially if you are renovating a property or have one that is void at the moment. We know you’ll be thinking about costs, but you know you would prefer the cost of a small amount of heat in the property over a large bill for repairs.
We hope that you have had your annual boiler maintenance earlier in the year to check that everything is in working order. If not, please try and book this in as soon as possible. We know what a nightmare it can be to get hold of quality tradesmen over the festive period, and the increased costs you will incur should something fail. Giving the boiler an overhaul now means that you will hopefully prevent any problems when you’re tucking into your Christmas dinner.
Tenants, don’t be silent
Tenants, it’s important that you keep us or your landlord informed of any maintenance niggle, no matter how small, so we can get it resolved as soon as possible. Niggles can quickly escalate into something more serious, and we wouldn’t want your Christmas disrupted by something that could have been handled smoothly in the forthcoming weeks.
If you would like more advice on how to prepare a rental property for winter, please contact a member of our Bidmead Cook lettings team.