Landlord’s Guide to Christmas Maintenance by Heather Hilder on December 21, 2023 “Christmas Maintenance” A Landlord’s Guide to Christmas Maintenance While much of the country is gripped by a big freeze – many of us will be thinking about kicking our shoes off and relaxing during the Christmas break. But for home-owners and those with rental properties, ‘A Landlord’s Guide to Christmas Maintenance’ is a must-read. But before landlords can chill out altogether (in a good way!) it will be worth their while giving their properties a final check over because there’s nothing worse than dealing with emergency repairs over the Christmas holidays. Temperatures are dropping all over the UK as Winter declares its arrival with overnight frosts and freezing night-time temperatures. These can play havoc with property water pipes. Ensure they are checked and lagged where necessary – and don’t forget the ones in the loft where they often go unnoticed until they make their presence felt by bursting at just the wrong time. Damp and mould If it’s cold outside, you can be sure your tenants want to stay warm and dry inside. That’s all well and good but one of the possible consequences is condensation – the moisture that collects on cold surfaces (like windows) when they are hit by warmer air. This phenomenon if left untreated can lead to damp and mould problems on walls, behind cupboards, around window frames. Cooking in kitchens and showering in bathrooms are everyday occurrences in rental properties but both activities produce the warm air which can be the root cause of condensation. In order to help your tenants, it’s a good idea to regularly remind them to open doors and windows from time to time to ventilate properties which will help stop the condensation in its tracks. Landlords can make sure extractor fans are clean and working effectively and encourage tenants to use them whenever necessary. Boiler maintenance Even though everyone is watching the pennies during the cost of living crisis, it is probable that central heating boilers will be working harder than normal during the bitter weather. And as the holiday season approaches, people will be spending more time at home and relying on their radiators more than usual. The last thing anybody needs at this point is a boiler breakdown. Landlords should check that service records are up to date and the gas safety check, where appropriate, is in date. If a service is due, don’t delay – you don’t want a Christmas day call-out charge for an engineer if there’s an emergency. Fire safety Christmas is a great time for candlelight. While a scented candle may add to the festive atmosphere, too many can cause something of a hazard if due care isn’t taken. And fairy lights and additional appliances at Christmas might run the risk of an electrical fire if mains points or adaptors become overloaded. Take the opportunity to do a fire safety refresher with your tenants. While you’re at it, you may want to check out the CO and smoke alarms. Are they in date? Is everything working as it should be? Better safe than sorry. We wish you a Merry Christmas While you’re there it might be nice to wish them compliments of the season and check if they’re planning to be away over the holidays, ask them to secure their valuables and lock up properly before they leave the property. And before you go… On your way out, take the opportunity to have a quick recce around the outside of the property. Are all doors and windows secure? Are all drains and gutters free from fallen leaves and debris? What about the roof slates – are they all in place and intact? Check window frames and doors for peeling paint which might be a sign of water damage – which could lead to damp and rot. And look out for any cracks in mortar, brickwork or paving which may be the result of frost damage. When you get home… Give yourself a pat on the back and have a very Merry Christmas – you deserve it! For further information on our comprehensive letting services, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. You can also receive a complimentary, instant online rental valuation for your property by clicking here.