You may not want to start thinking about the winter just yet, but you can save yourself lots of money and stress by preparing your property now for the coming cold season. Rose Jinks of Landlord News offers her top ten ways to keep your property warm this winter, whether you’re a landlord, homeowner or tenant.
Don’t lag behind
If you haven’t already, make sure to lag the pipes in any unheated areas of your property, particularly in the loft. Even if you have lagged the pipes already, now is a good time to check that the pipes are properly insulated, as even small gaps could freeze them when the cold weather arrives.
Heat it up
While many of us like to save money where we can, leaving your heating on permanently during the winter months can actually save you money in the long-term. It is a good idea to leave the central heating on at a minimum temperature of 15°C, to protect the property against damp and condensation. If you’re a landlord, advise your tenants to do this throughout the winter.
If you or your tenants are going to be away over the winter period, it is important that the property is kept safe while it is empty. Landlords should visit their property while tenants are away to check that the property is not too cold and pipes aren’t freezing, while homeowners should turn the water stop clock off and drain the water system (if you’ll be away for a long time).
It’s a bit draughty in here…
An easy way to keep out the cold is by fitting draught excluders to your letterbox and outside doors. If your tenants are finding the property difficult to keep warm, it is a good idea to advise them to use draught excluders on interior doors also. This should help to keep the warmth in as it gets colder outside.
Keep it together
While drawing the curtains is a good way of keeping your property cosy as the nights get darker and colder, now is also a good time to start thinking about buying some heavier curtains that are properly lined. If you’re a landlord that offers a furnished property, tenants will appreciate having new, warmer curtains and are likely to take extra care of your property as a thank you!
Don’t block it!
While you may have rearranged your property during your spring clean, you may want to reconsider as the colder nights draw in. The last thing you want when you’re trying to heat your property is a piece of furniture blocking your radiators. Make sure that radiators are exposed and they will be much more beneficial.
Wrap it up
It goes without saying, but installing the right insulation throughout your property is vital in keeping it as warm as possible. Consider new loft insulation, cavity wall and single-skin wall insulation if your property is older. Landlords must also be aware that from 2018, it will become illegal for properties with an F or G energy efficiency rating to be let out – stay on top of the law by making improvements now.
Put your programme on
While point two suggests keeping your central heating on permanently at 15°C throughout the winter, you or your tenants may want to turn it up at times. Installing programmable thermostats on the boiler and radiators will allow you to manage the temperature of your property at all times, making sure that it doesn’t drop. Programmable thermostats will also help you cut back on overspending at the same time.
I’ve gutter problem
As the leaves start to turn brown, you should check your property regularly for fallen debris that could be blocking your gutters and drains. If there is a blockage, it may contribute to damp inside your property. Landlords should remind their tenants to clear gutters if they become blocked, although responsibility will fall on the landlord to repair any damage.
Get it covered
Whether you have a new house or old, rugs are an easy way of keeping rooms (and feet) warm during winter. If you’re trying to let your investment this winter, putting some rugs in big rooms will also help make the property look more homely to prospective tenants.
With the end of summer now officially in sight, it could not be a better time to turn your attention to the winter. It is never too soon to start preparing your property and save some money along the way!