How to: Prepare Your Rental Property for Winter Industry News 11th November 2015 | By Liberty Preparing your rental property for winter is essential in order to prevent costly problems from arising. Here you can learn what actions to take to ensure that both you as a landlord, and your tenants, have a disaster-free winter. These are our top tips on how to winterize a house: Maintain the Heating System The last thing you want is problems with the heating system during the coldest time of the year. Be sure to check it in advance so that if there are nasty surprises, you have time to rectify them before it gets too cold. Make it a ‘must-do’ to have the boiler serviced on a regular basis to keep it in good working order. Check the Pipes and Brickwork Failure to check all external pipes could result in serious problems. If blockages and leaks go unnoticed, pipes will freeze over winter, causing them to expand and burst. Always check the pipes for any damage ahead of winter and make sure they are secured to the walls. It’s also advisable to examine the brickwork for any cracks, which could let water in. Sweep the Chimney If your rental property has a chimney and an open fire or wood burner then it’s your duty to sweep it to avoid a chimney fire from occurring. To maximise the safety of your tenants, provide a suitable fireguard. Keep the Draughts Out Be sure to block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Obvious draught points will be doors, windows and loft hatches so be sure to check these and use draft excluders where necessary. Read more: How to Keep Your Student Buy-to-Lets in Top Condition Inspect the Roof It’s well worth inspecting the roof to ensure that tiles are secure and intact. If they are loose, they could easily become dislodged during the windy winter season and fall, which could not only cause damage, but let water in too. It’s your duty to monitor the general condition of the roof. Clear the Guttering It’s inevitable that the guttering will need to be cleared of leaves, sticks and other debris in late autumn. Failure to do so can lead to guttering being blocked which can result in damp problems due to a build-up of water. Clear the guttering frequently to reduce the risk of water damage and you’ll no doubt avoid disaster striking in the winter. Check Alarm Batteries Whilst you should ensure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working correctly all year round, it’s vital that they are in good working order during winter. People tend to keep windows and doors closed during the colder months, therefore there’s no ventilation, making detection for these poisons extremely important. Inform your Tenants Last but not least, keeping your tenants well informed is one of the best ways to prepare your rental property for winter. By briefing them on how to deal with the cold weather and what to expect over the winter months, they’ll be armed with simple steps they can take to protect the property from unnecessary damage. With November already here and December just around the corner, it’s important to carry out these jobs sooner rather than later so that your rental property is ready to battle the elements. Leave it too late and you may find yourself spending money and time you don’t have on serious problems that could have easily been avoided.