Top tips for tenants to make your property ready for Winter
Autumn and winter can cause problems for properties, and they need to looked after a little bit more than the rest of the year. There is a responsibility on tenants to ensure that they are doing what they can as residents of the property to minimise any potential issues- the landlord has repairing obligations on a property but tenants can sometimes cause a problem without realising it, and these simple steps can help to reduce the chance of issues occurring.
- Ensure the property is adequately heated, but also ventilated. Winter is a prime time for tenants to have the heating on a lot and dry clothes indoors but don’t ventilate properly. This causes condensation which in turn can lead to mould, especially in corners of bedrooms bathrooms etc. Tenants then mistake this for damp which can result in a costly damp survey for the landlord, only to find that the tenant hasn’t opened a window since August! All houses need ventilation, so if you have trickle vents on the windows, then have them open, or just open the windows for a few minutes after showering or cooking. Try not to dry clothes on radiators, as this causes a lot of moisture in the air.
- Keep pathways free of leaves- this is a tenants responsibility, and reduces the risk of a visitor (or yourself!) slipping on wet leaves and being injured.
- Ensure gutters are clear. This will stop water pooling in the gutters and seeping through the walls of the house. If the gutters are too high for you to safely reach to clear out, then you need to inform your landlord or letting agent, as they will need to organise for them to be cleared.
- Bleed your radiators to get rid of any excess air in the system, which will help your heating run more efficiently and keep your radiators hot. Most radiators have a valve which can be turned, either with a radiator key (found in hardware shops), or a screwdriver. This releases air from the system, allowing the hot water to flow more efficiently.
- If you are away from the property for any period of time in winter, then always leave the heating set at a minimum of 16C. This should prevent pipes from freezing. If the heating is left off deliberately in very cold weather and the pipes freeze and burst, then this could be classed as neglect by the tenant.
These simple tasks can help to ensure that your home is kept warm, dry and safe during winter!