Ready, set, snow: How to prepare your rental property for winter
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As we edge closer to the winter weather, tenants are prompted to prepare their rental homes to avoid getting caught out.
Most tenancy agreements set out certain responsibilities for tenants to keep gutters and drains free from blockages, avoid cracked or frozen pipes – by keeping the heating on low, if the property is going to be empty while residents are away – and bleed radiators regularly to maximise their efficiency and prevent problems.
It is also recommended that all tenants know where the stop cock in their home is, should they need to turn the water off quickly to reduce damage in the event of any leaks.
Where heating systems require oil or LPG top ups, you should keep an eye on levels to make sure you don’t run out.
And it is sensible if you rent a property in the countryside, to make up an emergency kit of candles, matches, bottled water, logs if you have a fire, salt for slippery paths, a camping stove and tinned food – particularly if you live in a rural or isolated area.
Smoke alarms should be checked often to make sure they are working and have batteries in, and landlords must be notified if any alarms are faulty, so they can be replaced.
Chimneys usually need sweeping at least once a year, even if the fire isn’t used often so it is worth checking your tenancy agreement. Sweeps get busy early so booking an appointment soon is advisable.
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Ryan Green, head of Savills Harpenden Lettings, said: “Now we’ve moved into autumn and the weather is starting to get colder, it’s time to prepare your rental property for winter.
“Taking steps means you’ll not only be maintaining your home in a tenant-like way but will also help avoid issues. It’s a good idea to re-read your tenancy agreement at the start of each new season to remind yourself of your responsibilities.”