Winter care for your home for tenants
Here are some tips for keeping your home in check throughout the winter months.
If you have a gas boiler, it may be serviced annually by a competent and registered engineer. Your gas engineer is qualified to work safely and legally on gas appliances. The contractors are reviewed to ensure they have the correct registration with Gas Safe and are fully insured. If you have electric panel heaters these may also be tested by a qualified electrician to ensure they are working. It is good practice to ensure the heating is working satisfactorily prior to the arrival of extreme cold weather.
To ensure that your central heating is as energy efficient as possible, releasing trapped air or gas by bleeding the radiators can make a real difference. Radiators for gas central heating and electric panel heaters should not be used to dry clothes on and this prevents the air from warming and can lead to damp and mould issues.
Chimneys and flues
If you have a fire that burns either wood or coal, then you should ask your landlord to arrange for the chimney to be swept at least once a year. For gas fires, make sure that the flue outlet is not blocked or obstructed on the external wall of the house.
Smoke alarms are an imperative to your safety, so ensure these are in working order. Remove any build-up of dust and grime with a damp cloth or a vacuum cleaner nozzle, and check that the alarm is working properly by pressing the test button.
During autumn, leaves, moss and other debris may have accumulated in gutters. Blockages can cause leaks, so make sure that the gutters and down pipes are cleared at least once a year.
Check the roof of your house (and garage) from the outside with a pair of binoculars to check for slipped or broken tiles, or cracks in the lead work. It’s also worth examining the roof from inside as a double check for water penetration.
Clean paths and drives
Leaves and moss can make these areas slippery - to keep them safe keep them clean and clear.
Property security and burglary tips
Photograph valuable items and use the new marking methods available, so that your goods can be traced if stolen. Make a note of serial numbers. Whenever you leave your home – even to visit a neighbour for a short time – make sure all doors and windows are securely locked.
If your front door can be locked by a key from the inside, make sure that you have a spare key in a convenient place near the front door so that you can get out quickly.
Do not leave ladders, steps etc. visible in the garden. Make your back garden private and secure. Lock rear entry gates. Keep front hedges and fences no more than waist high, so that neighbours can see your front and side doors.
Damp and condensation mould
Damp and condensation mould can be worse between October and April but can be largely managed and prevented. Reduce the potential for condensation by producing less moisture by hanging your washing outside to dry if at all possible, or hang it in the bathroom with the door closed and a window slightly open or extractor fan on. Ventilation can help to reduce condensation by removing moist air from your home and replacing it with drier air from outside.