With the snowfall this week, I’ve found myself having various conversations with friends and family about how unprepared they were for the change in weather. This got me thinking about how prepared you have to be to rent out your home and how prepared you need to be as a tenant or landlord if the weather changes for the worse.
- Prospective tenants please do allow extra time to get to a property, as the roads may be busier or fraught with obstacles or ice and the journey time may take longer.
- Take suitable footwear, wellies or walking boots will be the best for unstable or slippery ground.
- Wrap up warm, listen to your Grandma’s advice and add a layer or two, you may be waiting outside properties for an agent to open up and even when they do the heating may be off.
- Prospective landlords – if your property is vacant – please can you leave your heating on timer so that it keeps the property warm for viewers and also guards against frozen pipes!
Showing a property:
- Landlord and occupiers, please make sure the heating is on if possible and that there is electricity available so that viewings can take place after 4pm when it is dark if this is the only time prospective viewers can make it.
- Of course, prospective viewers it is better to try to make viewings in the daytime as the dark can lead to accidents and loss of footing. We are open all day on Saturday for your convenience.
- If possible can landlords or occupiers of properties try to grit the pathway to the front door to avoid anybody falling over and hurting themselves. Table salt works well and it very cheap.
- If there is an outside light, make sure it is on!
- Make sure the property is suitably insured for all weather conditions. If a viewer injures themselves and can prove you were negligent or did not point out hazards, a claim could be made against you.
- Most utility providers will offer a 24 emergency service for a small extra cost each month which will protect the heating, hot water and white goods. Of course, if your property is managed by Sewell & Gardner then we will be available to assist with any breakdowns and we can provide alternative heating if your boiler breaks!
- Keep the heating on low even if the property is vacant, not only does this make the property more inviting for viewers but it should stop the pipes from freezing.
Renting a property as a tenant:
- Make sure you are aware of the emergency contacts and procedures in place for your property, does the landlord have a service contract or insurance policy, is it managed by the lettings agent or do you deal directly with your landlord?
- If you are holidaying in the winter period, make sure you inform the relevant people so that they can check on the property if necessary or they know how to gain access in the case of an emergency. Please leave the heating on low to avoid possible burst pipes.