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Caring for your home in winter

PUBLISHED: 12:10 03 January 2017 | UPDATED: 12:18 03 January 2017

Prepare your property for winter and it will help avoid costly issues Getty Images/iStockphoto

Prepare your property for winter and it will help avoid costly issues Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Ryan Green, head of Savills Harpenden lettings, gives his top tips for keeping your home (and you) in good repair over the winter months

Now we’ve moved into the coldest part of the year, it’s time to prepare your property for winter. And that goes for those renting too, as tenancy agreements often make it the responsibility of the tenant to take care of aspects of the property. Owner or tenant, the following tips will help avoid potentially costly issues.

Keep gutters and drains free from blockages
In most tenancy agreements it’s the tenant’s responsibility to keep gutters, downpipes and drains clear. This cuts the risk of rainwater blockage. If they’re left blocked over time it could cause severe damage.

Avoid the risk of cracked and frozen water pipes
If you’re planning on going away over the cold months it’s best to keep the heating on low to prevent pipes from freezing.

Maximise the efficiency of your radiators. You should regularly ‘bleed’ radiators to stop air blocks. Remember to put down an old sheet before you start.

Do you know how to turn off the mains water? 
If you have a leak you will need to turn the water off quickly to reduce damage. Make sure you know where the stop cock is.

Have you diarised regular oil or LPG top ups? 
The last thing you need in the depths of winter is no heating. For those in rural areas using oil or LPG, keep an eye on the levels to make sure you don’t run short.

Emergency supplies are a must in the remoter areas 
If you’re living in a rural area you should prepare an emergency ‘kit’ and keep the essentials at the ready in case of power cuts. Things to consider including are candles and matches, torch, kindling and logs for the fire, salt for paths, bottled water, a small gas camping stove, a few tins of food and a tin opener.

Smoke and CO alarms need checking regularly
If alamrs are battery operated it’s essential to have a set of spare batteries at the ready. For tenants, if you find any alarm is broken, tell your landlord or your managing agent immediately, so they can get it replaced.

Book a chimney sweep
For those with a real fuel fire, chimneys should ideally be swept at at least once a year to remove potentially fire-hazardous tar build-up. Tenants should check their tenancy agreement on the frequency. Get an appointment booked as early as possible, as sweeps are in demand at this time of year.

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