Property owners often face the problem of their houses being empty over the Christmas period. Whether you have a student property, a residential property or perhaps a commercial property – if it’s empty over Christmas, it’s essential to make sure it is safe. Your tenants will not thank you if they come back to a property that has been broken into! And as a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make all the necessary renovations and refurbishments to keep your tenants and their belongings safe from both crime and the harsh winter weather.
Exterior doors are a great place to start. Most thieves will not want to force entry into a house, as it only attracts attention, so making it as difficult as possible to get in will significantly reduce your chances of a break in. Dead-bolts make locked doors much harder to open and an outside light above the door will make it look as though someone is home and make potential thieves feel as though they are on show. Exterior doors with glass panes can be dangerous for a number of reasons – it allows people to look into your property, the glass can be broken in order to gain entry, and it could even be broken by falling trees during strong wind or storms. Solid doors are much safer – consider changing yours to keep your property secure.
Are your windows secure? Double glazed windows will keep your property warm throughout the winter (though be sure to keep the interior doors open to allow air to circulate) and prevent break ins. Ensure that the locks on your windows are up to scratch and in full working order as open windows or windows which are easy to unlock from the outside are a common entry point. Think of it this way – if you can get in, someone else could too. So be sure to fix that dodgy lock or mend any windows with cracks.
There’s never a better time to review your boiler and insulation than in the winter. If your property is going to be empty for weeks at a time, it is important to keep it at a stable temperature – both so that it is pleasant to return home to for your tenants and also to prevent problems with pipes and condensation. Ensure that the insulation in the loft covers the pipes to prevent freezing and that all insulation is relatively new, thick and effective. Check out our post on insulation for more information. Alternatively, read up on how to tell if your boiler needs replacing here. Putting your heating on a timer at least once a day can help maintain a consistent warm temperature – you never know what the weather’s going to do while your property is empty.
Remember, investing in small maintenance jobs now could save you a fortune in repairs later – it’s better to be safe than sorry! If you think that your property could benefit from some seasonal renovation and refurbishment, call Mistoria today on 0800 500 3015 or contact us via our website. Stay safe and have a very Merry Christmas!