Winter Proof Rental Property by Heather Hilder on November 5, 2019 “Winter Chills” Winter Proof Rental Property Landlords, during the winter months, you can easily overlook the importance of ensuring that the temperature of your property doesn’t fall below freezing. Your Tenants might be more concerned about their own comfort than the welfare of your investment. But what happens if they decide to fly off for some winter sun for a couple of weeks, leaving your property empty? Let us consider, for a few minutes, how to winter proof rental property. Temperatures falling below zero for more than a day or so can spell serious trouble unless your heating kicks in. Yet your Tenant may well turn the heating off to save money when they are away sunning themselves or skiing. A frozen pipe will only be noticeable during a thaw, when mains pressure water can drown a house in minutes. This causes extensive damage and even a compensation claim by your Tenant who actually caused it! TOP 5 WINTER TIPS Keep your property warm and dry during the cold winter months: Ask your Tenant to keep the central heating on low tick-over right through the winter months. Not only will this prevent the property from freezing, but it will also prevent the water pump from seizing through lack of use (for the same reason, it’s also worth turning it on momentarily each week during the summer too). Sudden cold temperatures can freeze your boiler’s external condensate pipe, which can close the boiler down – the most common cause of engineer call-outs. So be sure that your Tenant tells you if they are going to be away for more than a couple of days during the winter. You’ll need permission for access if things suddenly get really chilly. Make sure you and your Tenant know exactly where the mains water stopcock is. In the event of a leak, seconds count in terms of avoiding potential flood-damage. Check if radiators are fully warm, especially near the top. There may be air trapped inside that needs to be released. Make sure your Tenant has a radiator bleed key and knows how to use it. Have your boiler serviced annually. This a legal requirement for gas boilers in rented properties. Should your boiler fail during a cold spell, this will inevitably be the time when you can’t get hold of an overworked heating engineer. Callaways offer a Tenancy & Property Management Service. Call our specialist team on 01273-735237 for full details. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org (especially if you’re going away for the winter months!) By the way, home-owners should follow our Top Five Tips too!