With summer well and truly behind us, a home that felt pleasant and comfortable may now feel less appealing. When the temperature dips, problems and issues can arise around a home, and of course, many issues can arise that weren’t there before. This is why it is important to look after your home in autumn and winter and this is the case for tenant and landlords. There is often an adversarial stance between landlords and tenants but a home in good condition benefits everyone, so here are some autumn and winter property care tips that tenants and landlords should follow.
Consider the impact of frozen pipes in autumn
It is always better to be proactive than reactive, and this is why you should consider the negative impact that frozen or burst pipes can have in a home. Your life can be turned upside down in an instant and there is often a lot of expense and inconvenience following frozen or burst pipes.
This is why it makes sense to lag pipes now and ensure that they are well covered and protected before the weather takes a turn for the worse. Foam tubing is affordable and it can provide all the coverage you need to ensure your pipes are protected from the worst conditions this autumn and winter. Given that lagging can also reduce the likelihood of condensation and can lower your energy bills, this is a tip that definitely benefits the tenant as much as the landlord.
Consider your radiator before winter
While a landlord may have more focus on the long term impact at their home while a tenant is interested in the short term, there are ways to please all parties. When it comes to the radiators in a property, you want to make sure that they are in good condition, and this is why bleeding radiators is often important.
If you are running the radiator and you notice it is warm at the bottom while warm at the top, it is likely that there is trapped air in the radiator. This means the radiator isn’t working efficiently, which can cause problems in the long term, but it also means energy bills will be higher in the short term.
Bleeding the radiator doesn’t have to be a difficult process and there are detailed How-To videos on YouTube to ensure that landlords or tenants know how to complete the process.
Consider the boiler
Anything to do with the boiler is likely to come under the remit of the landlord, after all, it is a major part of the home and it usually represents a sizable investment. However, the tenant should be on the lookout for any warning signs that the boiler isn’t working as effectively as it could. A simple step like placing a cover around the boiler can improve its efficiency but if there are issues, it makes sense to call out a professional to examine the boiler.
An efficient boiler saves money and lasts longer, which means the tenant and landlord benefits. A landlord who is thinking about the long term will find that investing in a new boiler makes sense because of the long term savings and of the growing importance of the EPC rating when letting property.
Ensuring the boiler is serviced every year is a great way for the landlord to stay on top of their heating system and it can remove some of the pressure on tenants to keep in touch with the condition of the heating system.
There is also a need to properly insulate the home. This can be carried out with major work, such as adding double glazing or it can be carried out in simpler or more cost effective ways through lining a loft or attic area and placing covers around window frames and doors. If the landlord isn’t prepared to spend a lot of money on insulating a property, the tenant can take minor and affordable steps to make the property more comfortable during the colder months of the year.
While many of the major tips are the responsibility of the landlord, there are a number of steps the tenant can take to improve the condition of the home during autumn and winter, including:
- Maintaining a level of heating in the house, which minimises risk of condensation or damp
- Keep a hatch or window open, particularly near the top of the home, to allow warm air to circulate
- Keep internal doors open
- Know where the stopcock is and how to turn it off if required
It is also important for landlords and tenants to have a good line of communication between themselves, and know who is responsible for certain tasks or actions. If an issue arises, a tenant should feel confident about informing a landlord as soon as possible. There are many challenges in and around the home in autumn and winter but this why these tips will make a difference for landlords and tenants.