November 2012

Top Tips for Tenants in Winter

A tenant who fails to take proper precautions is likely to be held liable for any damage caused to the property during cold weather.  Don’t think it won’t happen to you!  Take precautions:

frozen pipe

  • Read the small print of your tenancy agreement to check for any measures that you must take during cold spells.
  • Turn off outdoor taps  internally where possible.
  • Make sure you know where your stopcock is in case of emergency.
  • Make sure the gutters are clear and check for any leaks to prevent damp and water damage. 
  • Check for leaking exterior overflow pipes - the water may freeze and block the pipe, causing a flood.
  • Report any leaks to your agent or landlord.   Small problems like this can quickly lead to big and expensive problems.
  • If you’re leaving the property for an extended period make sure the heating is left on and your incoming cold water mains stopcock is turned off.   Its also a good idea to let you neighbour know you are going to be away and give them contact details for your landlord or agent.
  • On really cold days allow heated air a chance to circulate in the loft by opening the loft door or hatch. This reduces the chance of pipes in the loft freezing.
  • Get to know your property and the most efficient and cost effective ways of heating it.  Every home is different.
  • If you discover a frozen pipe gently thaw it with hot water bottles or towels soaked in warm water but do not apply direct heat as this could crack the pipes.
  • Make sure that you use open fires, gas fires and electric heaters safely and if you’re cold - put on an extra sweater!
  • If you have an oil boiler, check to make sure there is plenty of oil in the tank.  If the tank runs dry you will have to pay for an engineer’s call out and you may have to wait some time for an oil delivery.





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