How to maintain your rental property this winter
With the cold months now upon us, we look at a few simple measures to get ready for winter. What can you do yourself as a tenant and what are the things that you might need to make your landlord aware of?
Keeping the property warm and dry
One of the first things you'll need to do this winter is check all the radiators and the central heating are in good working order. If anything is faulty, you’ll need to pass this information on to your landlord or letting agent so they can manage the problem.
Read our previous blog post: 6 ways of keeping your property warm for less this winter
Alongside managing the heating of your property effectively, you'll also need to be on the lookout for condensation and damp as this could develop into mould and cause serious problems for you and the property further down the line.
You can minimise the chances of mould developing by keeping your home well-ventilated, opening windows, using extractor fans and just generally keeping the property warm but dry. If you don’t have an extractor fan or your existing one is inefficient, it could be worth asking your landlord for a new one as it will be in both yours and their best interest in the long-term.
Maintaining the garden and the exterior
Outside the home, it’s important to check any external pipes, for example on garden taps. Frozen, damaged or leaky pipes can cause big problems – simple foam insulation on outside piping can help to prevent this. If you do spot any worrying signs, such as damp patches around the piping, you’ll need to let your landlord know as soon as possible.
It’s also good to check the roof, if you can see it, especially after windy weather. If tiles are dislodged or cracks appear, this can be dangerous and also affect the energy efficiency of the property.
Regularly unclogging drains and gutters is another step you can take to keep everything ticking over smoothly. If gutters or drains are clogged, excess water can build up and potentially escape into the property or damage the walls.
It’s always good to make sure the garden doesn't get too overgrown or unruly. A few hours spent tidying up over the course of the winter could save you plenty of time and effort come the spring when you want to get outdoors more regularly.
Clearing paths of leaves and debris is also another small job that can make a big difference at this time of year.
What jobs aren't suitable for tenants?
As a tenant, there are certain jobs that will need to be passed on to your landlord or agent, including:
- Faulty boilers or issues with the central heating
- systemInsulation problems
- Broken, frozen or leaky pipes
- Problems with the roof
If you’re proactive, you can really help to maintain the property to make sure you’re warm and comfortable over the winter months.