Winter is a great time to rent your home in London if you’re planning a getaway or have more than one property. But it’s also a prime time for things to go wrong at your property. Here are some tips to help you avoid the cost and inconvenience of an emergency call out by performing some simple tasks and checks inside and out before your first winter guests arrive.
Heating & hot water
Nothing marks the arrival of winter in the UK quite like having to turn the heating on for the first time. It’s probably been six months or longer since the heating’s been on so give it a try now before you need it to work. Turn the heating on throughout the property for 30 minutes. Check the heating comes on evenly in all rooms before setting it to an appropriate temperature.
Your boiler may have given you no problems over the year, but it’s best to recheck it now. Turn on the shower and the hot taps for each sink to make sure there’s hot water in abundance. Get your boiler and heating systems serviced regularly to avoid problems now and in the future.
Condensation & damp
It might seem counter-intuitive to fling open the windows in the colder months, but condensation occurs when there’s a lack of ventilation and airflow in your home. Left untreated condensation becomes damp and in turn, can lead to mould. Combat humidity by ensuring extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens are in full working order, and guests have clear instructions on how to use them.
Check window seals and external brickwork for signs of damage that could let water into your property. If your property has air bricks or air vents, make sure they are clear from debris so they can do their job effectively. Preventing condensation is easier and less expensive than resolving it once its present. If condensation is already a concern, you may need to look at longer-term solutions such as double glazing and insulation for your loft and walls.
Drains & gutters
There’s no denying that clearing autumn leaves from gutters and drains is a nuisance but it’s a necessary one. Blockages can lead to overflowing pipes and water damage to your property. If you’re not comfortable or confident taking on the tasks of clearing gutters, downpipes and drains yourself, hire an expert. You can also ask them to carry out a roof inspection at the same time if you’re worried about any potential problems.
Gardens & paths
If you’re fortunate enough to have some outdoor space, there are several things you can do to ensure it weathers the winter season ahead. If you’ve got a lawn, give it a good going over with a rake before you give it a final mow of the year. This will help the grass to breathe and promote better water drainage. Treat the grass to lawn feed if it’s not looking its best.
Trim back hedges and shrubs and lop off any tree branches that are at risk of breaking in a storm. Make sure fences and garden walls are structurally sound. Move vulnerable plants indoors and cover or store garden furniture. Clear paths and give them a clean with a hard bristle brush and soapy water or with a pressure washer. Do this before the frost arrives to help make your paths less slippery in the bad weather.
Make it easier for you and your guests to navigate safely around the outside of your home with some motion-sensor outdoor lighting. With the reduced hours of daylight, there’s a fair chance that your guests will be arriving at your home under cover of darkness. The light will also act as a deterrent to any would-be intruders.
Our award-winning, full-service short let property management service includes maintenance and cleaning. In the event of a problem, we’ll respond to your guests, fix the issue and clean-up afterwards. So you don’t have to worry. Read more about the services we provide for hosts and their guests.
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