Festive checklist: how landlords can prepare their rental property

Living room with Christmas decorations

Just as you would think ahead when it comes to buying presents or cooking a feast for the family, it’s important that you have a plan to get your rental property ready for the festive period.

Being prepared now can help you to avoid costly repairs and give you extra peace of mind.

So ahead of this year’s annual break, it’s time to settle down with a mince pie and read our festive checklist for landlords.

Three top tips to prepare for the festive break

As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to manage your property all year round. But here are some points to consider that are especially important over the coming days and weeks.

1. Communicate with your tenants

If you haven’t done so already, now would be a good time to get in touch with your tenants.

Not only is it useful for you to know if they’re planning to be away for an extended period over Christmas (10 days or more), but it gives them the opportunity to let you know about any issues at the property.

If tenants are planning to be away, this could be a good time to ask them if you can schedule a visit to the property. During your visit, you could complete any odd jobs and do a quick inspection to make sure there are no big issues that need fixing.

On the other hand, if tenants are home in the property over the festive period, it could be beneficial to schedule a visit well in advance of Christmas and new year.

This gives you plenty of time to do any essential repairs so that tenants can enjoy the break. It also reduces the chances of tenants needing to call you out on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, which wouldn’t be ideal for anyone.

Whatever your tenants’ plans, communicating now gives you time to plan ahead. Read our guide to landlord access rights for a refresher if you’re planning to visit the property in the coming weeks.

2. Consider property security

Although security is important all year round, the festive period can encourage a rise in the number of opportunistic thieves.

With this in mind, it’s always worth reminding tenants about some of the basic things they can do to reduce the risk of a break-in over the coming weeks. These include:

  • keeping expensive presents out of sight
  • not oversharing on social media (if they’re away for an extended period)
  • locking all doors and windows when leaving the property
  • using the alarm system (if the property has one)

If your tenants are planning to go away for the festive period, remind them to be extra thorough when securing the property. In this case, it may be worth scheduling a visit so the property isn’t left vacant for too long.

3. Complete these essential winter checks

Whether you intend to visit the property ahead of the festive break or during a quiet time when tenants are away, there are some important checks you can do to make sure your property is in good condition.

Here are some key winter checks to get you started:

  • check for frozen pipes – leaking or burst pipes could cause serious damage to your property
  • clear gutters and drains – a build up of leaves and debris could block your water systems
  • check your boiler – it’s likely your boiler is being used more during this time so check for any issues and make sure its service history is up to date
  • make sure the property is well-ventilated – poor ventilation could lead to damp or mould problems

Spotting and fixing any winter maintenance issues early can save you a lot of time and money in the future. Read our property inspection checklist for more tips.

What are your tips for maintaining your rental property over the festive season? Let us know in the comments below.

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Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling is a professional writer with over 10 years’ experience across the property, small business, and insurance sectors. A trained journalist, Conor’s previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor has worked at Simply Business as a Copywriter for three years, specialising in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.

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