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.
Insulate your pipes
Rapid temperature drops can lead to the risk of cracked and burst pipes, which can result in costly repairs. To prevent this, insulate your pipes with lagging, particularly the ones that are located outside or in colder areas 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.
Check on 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.
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.
Improve the property’s insulation
There are various ways to enhance your property's insulation. Consider investing in loft insulation, especially if you own a house, as a significant amount of heat is lost through the roof. Additionally, install double glazed windows to prevent heat from escaping the house.
While these may be more bigger projects involving time and money compared to simple draught stoppers, they will significantly improve your property in the long run and contribute to boosting your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating.