The Scottish Government launched the Ready for Winter? Campaign on Tuesday 21 October, which aims to encourage people to ‘think ahead’. They provide some useful hits and tips for people in Scotland to ensure they have taken appropriate precautions this winter.
With that in mind the NLA has selected some useful hints and tips which any landlord can benefit from, ensuring tenants stay warm and landlords avoid any unnecessary problems.
For more useful hints and tips from the Read for Winter Campaign search for #ReadyWinter14 on twitter or have a look at their twitter page @readyscotland.
Top tips to help landlords through the winter
1) Information packs
Doing a few small things now could save a lot of trouble later. Preparing an information pack for your tenants detailing where things are located and what to do when it gets colder can help avoid any bigger issues such as burst pipes or higher energy bills. The NLA’s tenant information pack contains all the key things your tenants need to know.
2) Energy efficient homes
Things such as loft and floor insulation as well as filling wall cavities and draft proofing can help towards good energy efficiency. Having an energy efficient home will not only help save on energy bills but also help towards problems such as mould. You can contact your local council to see what help is available.
The NLA is currently developing a more comprehensive service, which will launch in the near future. We will inform all members once the service becomes available, so you can benefit from the services and make your homes more energy efficient.
3) Looking after your pipes this winter
Having a burst pipe is an unnecessary cost which can be avoided providing preventative measures have been put in place. It is therefore a good idea to think about the various areas where a problem might occur. If for example your property is vacant over the winter months make sure you turn off the water supply and drain the system. It is also worth considering fitting an automatic stop valve as it can reduce damage from a burst internal pipe. Water tanks should be fitted with an insulation jacket and pipes should have adequate insulation, at least 19mm thick. Finally repair any leaks or drips as soon as you discover them.
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If you are worried that your property might be at risk of flooding then make sure you have adequate insurance against flooding and it is also worth considering flood protection products that can be fitted to your property in case of a flood. Make sure your tenants familiarise themselves with how to shut-off gas, electricity, oil-fired heating and water supplies, even in the dark. This information should also go in an information pack for your tenants so that they have something to refer to and refresh their memories if need be. The information pack can also detail how to use the flood protection products. It is also a good idea to keep a list of useful contact numbers, including your area’s Floodline quick dial code.
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