It’s also time for tenants to carry out some checks in their home to make sure their property is looked after and is ready for the colder winter months. Here are some proactive steps we recommend tenants take in preparation for winter.
A property’s boiler will often be in the kitchen or nearby or in a bedroom or an attic in a larger property. For most modern combination boilers there’s normally a fairly simple reason for loss of heating and hot water which is a drop in boiler pressure. Tenants should look at the pressure dial on their boiler to make sure the pin is within the green section; between 1 and 1.5. If it’s below 1 then it may be time to top up the boiler pressure. Here’s a quick video showing how to do this and if the boiler in the video doesn’t resemble the boiler in a property it’s normally possible to find a manual online. If the boiler pressure is dropping frequently or error messages are displaying on the screen it’s likely there’s a further issue which a gas engineer will need to investigate.
This may sound obvious but it’s well worth testing the radiators throughout a property to make sure they are all functioning properly. That’s right, turn them on and (safely!) touch them at the top and bottom to make sure they are evenly hot throughout. If a radiator is cold at the top but hot at the bottom this normally indicates little air pockets need to be released from the radiator through ‘bleeding’, by using a radiator key or screwdriver and a dry cloth. Here’s a quick video explaining how this is done. If it’s the other way around and radiators are hot at the top but cold at the bottom there could be a build up of residue inside the radiator which will need the attention of a contractor.
Another fairly obvious one; tenants should turn on the hot taps and if they’re not heating to a satisfactory temperature and the boiler pressure has already been checked then there may be another problem that will needs investigated by a contractor.
Damp is caused by condensation when the temperature inside a property is higher than it is outside and so moisture in the air turns to water when it reaches barriers to the colder, outside world; that’s outside walls and windows.
Prevention is key here so tenants should;
- Ventilate the property regularly by opening the windows up to let air through (and let moisture out)
- Dry any condensation up immediately. Window sills in particular should be cleaned regularly as condensation can easily build here and turn to mould
- Check behind larger items of furniture to make sure there’s enough airflow
- Check on plants to make sure that leaves are not wet and developing into mould
- Invest in a dehumidifier to reduce dampness
GOING ON HOLIDAY
If tenants are leaving their property for more than 14 days and they don’t have a friend or family member locally who is able to pop round to check everything is ok/safe then its important they contact their letting agent or landlord so that an inspection can be arranged while they are away.
MAINTENANCE ISSUES REPORTING
At Umega, we use an online maintenance reporting platform, Fixflo where our tenants can log any maintenance request and can rectify many issues themselves through the platform, speeding up solutions to problems while giving tenants reassurance that their requests will be dealt with quickly and efficiently.