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 compiled a list of things you and your tenants can do to prepare your property and ensure you avoid any unexpected maintenance surprises this winter.
Track down and seal any draughts
Sealing draughts is a simple and effective way to keep your property warm and reduce energy bills. Check for gaps in door frames, around windows, and even around the letterbox. You can use adhesive draft excluder tape to seal small gaps around windows, and consider installing brush strips at the bottom of doors to retain heat between rooms.
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.
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.
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 mold 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.
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.