Renting a property in winter presents its own particular set of challenges. The cold weather brings any property maintenance to the forefront, and a cold or damp home won’t be a comfortable experience for any tenant. The best thing to do is to try and get ahead of any potential problems that might 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.
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.
Reinforce 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.
Check your radiators
You need to regularly bleed your radiators to make sure they still warm up and heat the property properly. If you have tenants in your property, ask them to turn the heating up for an hour and check that the radiators have warmed up properly. If they’re cold, or not heated up at the top, ask them to bleed the radiator by releasing excess air with a bleeding key, making sure to catch excess water as it pours out.
Keep the property at a steady temperature
Try and encourage your tenants to keep their heating on at a consistent temperature throughout the coldest months. Not only will this help prevent mould growth, it is also more energy efficient to keep your home at a lower, consistent temperature rather than have quick bursts of high heat.
Insulate your property
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.