Complete a winter property checklist to avoid costly bills over the coming months
- 30th October 2017
- Property Tips
Prevention is better than cure - check your property before the cold weather hits
As winter is fast approaching, it is important to think about how you can prepare your property for the adverse weather and changes in temperature. It could be as simple as arranging a boiler service in the run up to colder weather, rather than during the winter months when the boiler is needed.
As a landlord there are things that you can do to prepare your property, and there are other things that you can advise your tenants to do, either directly or through your agent. Remember that you cannot just turn up and enter your property unless there is an emergency. Although you are the owner, the tenants are the legal occupiers, and if you do not give them sufficient notice before entering the property, they can file a harassment claim. So make sure you check your tenancy agreement and give the tenants notice before turning up, or ask your agent to organise an inspection on your behalf.
Above all else, change in temperature can be attributed to most issues in properties during the winter months, the difference in air temperature and a reluctance to open windows and suitably ventilate the property can lead to moisture build up and condensation. If left unchecked, condensation can result in the growth of mould on the walls and windowsills.
Try and avoid condensation in your property, by implementing some or all of the following tips:
Dry your clothes outdoors when possible, when this isn’t possible, try to dry them in a well ventilated room with the windows slightly open and the door closed until they’re dry
If you don’t have an extractor fan, try to wipe own any cold surfaces when moisture gathers, as this will prevent the condensation from forming
Keep the ambient temperature of the property at a consistent level, recommended to be between 13-15 degrees, as this will warm the surfaces that would otherwise be prime locations for condensation
Keep the property ventilated, open windows and use the extractor fans you have; if there are any that are not working, this should be reported
Pull cupboards and wardrobes away from the wall to allow air circulation
Use a condensation/moisture trap that can help to absorb any excess water in the air
Use lids on pans when cooking
When boiling water or showering try to keep the kitchen or bathroom door closed for around 10 minutes after you have finished.
If you are leaving the property unattended for a short time, it is advisable to leave the heating on or set it on a timer, maintaining the temperature of the property at 15°C (59°F) minimum. This will prevent any issues with frozen pipes, which will be a costly and difficult problem to fix, and would potentially leave you without heating for a period. You can also leave all doors including the cupboards and wardrobes slightly open, as this will help to promote the circulation of the warm air throughout the property while you are away from it.
Download our full Winter Property Checklist covering everything you should be doing to reduce the risk of issues arising during the winter months. If you are a landlord you can also download an internal checklist and external checklist and can give them to tenants if you know that your property is prone to problems like condensation. A lot of the responsibility for the property is passed on to the tenants during their tenancy, however this doesn’t mean that you should assume they are aware of how to prevent problems, or what they should be looking out for.
Maintaining the temperature of the property at 15°C (59°F) minimum will prevent any issues with frozen pipes
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