Christmas is almost upon us once again and for many people, that means they are now making plans to go and stay with family and friends, which is a concern for a number of landlords as that could see their tenants leave their property unattended over the next week or so.
From avoiding burst pipes to keeping the property secure, there are a number of issues to consider during the festive season.
To help alleviate any concerns you may have over the festive period, YPP, a property management and letting firm that focuses on student and professional accommodation in the residential sector, has offered the following tips that you may care to share with your tenants to help them stay safe over the Christmas holidays and put your mind at ease:
+ Keep valuables out of sight: Keep valuables out of sight such as laptops, televisions and car keys might just prove to be an incentive to an opportunist. Many of our properties have blinds, so it may be worth while keeping them closed over the Christmas period.
+ Lock all windows and doors: If you are sharing a house or a flat, make sure that the last person to leave does a quick check around the property to ensure that all windows and doors are locked. Use deadlocks if you have them.
+ Set heating on a low timer: Yes, it may seem like leaving the heating on in your absence could be expensive, but leaving your heating on a low setting for a few hours a day will stop your pipes from freezing if there’s a cold spell and should only cost you a small amount. This will ensure that they don’t expand and burst from freezing.
+ Keep a light on: A cheap plug-in timer will turn lamps on and give the impression that somebody is home when your property is empty over the holiday. Being mindful of electricity usage, turn everything else off other than your fridge/freezer and save yourselves a little bit of cash through a lower bill during the holidays.
+ Take down Christmas decorations: While it may make your house look a little cheerier, if your house is going to be vacant until after the New Year decorations may indicate to that the house is empty, so take down the decorations before you leave for Christmas. Likewise, remove any promotional material in your windows that might suggest you’ve been gone for the last three weeks.
+ Neighbourhood watch: If you are comfortable and friendly with your neighbours then inform them that you’re going away and how long for, and ask them to keep an eye on your property. You can even provide a telephone number in case they need to contact you.
+ Be aware of tailgating: For residences with an external gate - be aware of anybody using the gate following your entry, if possible, push the gate closed once you have entered. On site security will be available as usual where applicable.