Renting a property in winter presents its own unique set of challenges. The cold weather brings property maintenance issues to the forefront, and having a cold or damp home won't be comfortable for any tenant. The best approach is to proactively address any potential issues that may arise as the temperature drops.
We’ve put together a list of things to do to prepare your property and make sure you aren’t hit with any nasty maintenance surprises this winter.
Insulate your pipes
If the temperature drops rapidly there’s a risk your pipes could crack and burst, which would end up needing costly repair. To help prevent this, insulate your pipes with lagging, especially the ones that run outside or in colder spots like garages.
Make sure any draughts are sealed
Sealing draughts is an easy way to keep your property warm and the energy bills down. Check through gaps in door frames, around the edges of windows, and round the letterbox. Small gaps around windows can be sealed with adhesive draft excluder tape, and brush strips can be bought for the bottom of doors to keep heat in between rooms.
Improve the property’s insulation
There are a few different ways to more effectively insulate your property. A lot of heat is lost through the roof as heat rises, so if you own a house it is well worth investing in loft insulation. Similarly, getting double glazed windows will stop a significant amount of heat escaping the house.
These may be bigger jobs that involve more time and money than simple draught stoppers, but it will make a massive difference to your property in the long run, and help to boost your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating.
Check your radiators
Make sure that your radiators are working properly by bleeding them on a regular basis. If you have tenants, ask them to turn the heating up for an hour and check if the radiators have warmed up correctly. If any radiators feel cold or fail to heat up at the top, advise your tenants to bleed the radiator by releasing excess air using a bleeding key. Remember to catch any excess water as it pours out.
Maintain a consistent temperature in the property
Encourage your tenants to keep the heating at a steady temperature throughout the coldest months. This not only helps prevent mould growth but also promotes energy efficiency. Keeping the home at a lower, consistent temperature is more economical compared to having quick bursts of high heat.