News Landlords And Tenants: Winter Property Maintenance Tips

Published by Ben on 20th October, 2017

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While there are many things to enjoy about autumn and winter, this can be a difficult time of year in caring for property. It is essential that care is taken to look after a property during the coldest months of the year and this is a situation where landlords and tenants should work together to protect the property. Everyone benefits from a well-looked after property and when there is agreement on who will take care of property maintenance, the house will likely be warmer and cosier this autumn and winter.

Be aware of the dangers of frozen pipes

One of the biggest issues a home can face in winter is frozen, burst or damaged pipes. The impact that pipe problems can have on the home can be devastating, and it is always best to be proactive in dealing with pipes. Lagging pipes is a simple and inexpensive process, which involves covering pipes with tubing. This will minimise the likelihood of damage to the pipes and it can also reduce the likelihood of condensation occurring in the home. Another benefit to tenants is the fact that lagging your pipes can lower your energy bills, so there is a clear incentive for the tenant to carry out this task or ensure that their landlord does it for them.

Bleed radiators

Another step that can save money on energy bills is ensuring that radiators are in good working order. If, when the radiator is on and working, it is hot at the bottom and cold at the top, there is air trapped in the radiator and you need to bleed it. Bleeding a radiator is a simple task but it is best left to someone who knows what they are doing or who feels confident about the process.

Make sure the boiler is in good working order

While a tenant should check the boiler and be aware of any potential signs of it not working, all boiler work should be undertaken by the landlord, or a professional acting on behalf of the landlord. Repairing or replacing the boiler represents a significant investment but there are many benefits to having a boiler in good working order, both in the short and long term.

The tenant benefits from a warmer home while lowering their energy bill (as the boiler should operate more efficiently) where as the landlord can ensure their property meets the EPC standards and investing in a good boiler can actually increase the value of the home. It is recommended that a boiler is reviewed on an annual basis and undertaking this in autumn should provide confidence for the winter months.

Insulate the home

One good way to ensure a property is in good condition for autumn and winter is to ensure it is properly insulated. This means checking for cracks, gaps or breaks in windows, doors and the exterior walls of the home. If any holes or gaps are spotted, these should be filled in.

Tenants can carry out minor insulation work by placing items like draught excluders at doors while there are many cheap and effective covers that can be placed on windows and frames to improve the level of insulation. If there is a loft space in the property, insulating this area can result in a warmer home with reduced energy bills.

Steps a tenant should take to care for a home in autumn and winter include:

·        Retain a consistent level of heating in the house, reducing the risk of dampness or condensation

·        Keep internal doors open

·        Be aware of where the stopcock is kept and how to turn it off

·        Allow warm air to circulate around the house

You’ll find that one of the best ways to ensure a home is well cared for in autumn and winter is to have regular communication between the landlord and tenant. When both parties discuss the condition of the property, know what can be done to improve the property and everyone can see that working together benefits everyone, you’ll find that maintaining the condition of your home in autumn and winter is a simpler process.