Preparing your property for the cold snap

With the dark nights now upon us and the mercury falling, now is the perfect time for landlords to winter-proof rental properties.

Burst pipes, blocked drains and broken gutters can all result in significant damage to homes, so landlords are advised to check they are in good repair and well insulated.

They should ask tenants whether they are experiencing any problems with windows, doors, walls and pipes and the roof and guttering and it is also worth servicing the boiler, breeding the radiators and checking pipes and storage tanks are properly lagged.

If tenants are going away for any length of time landlords should ask them to ensure the property is still heated to prevent pipes freezing and bursting and to prevent damp and condensation. Experts suggest a temperature of 15°C. Alternatively, the heating can be timed to come on between certain hours.

It may be advisable to ask a neighbour to keep an eye on any property that will be empty for a significant amount of time during the winter months.

The Residential Landlords Association is also encouraging members to keep an eye on vulnerable tenants during the cold weather.

Landlords should get in contact with elderly tenants, as well as people with health problems, those on low incomes and the disabled make sure they are prepared for the cold.

Members are advised to check they know how the boiler works, the location of the stopcock and how to change the thermostat in their properties. It may also be worth asking a neighbour to keep an eye out for vulnerable tenants during the winter months.

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