Before you leave for Christmas…

Follow our top tips if you’re living in private rented accommodation

1. Read the small print on your housing contract

 Be clear what you signed up to do before you leave for the holidays – as this could be the key to your liability. Most contracts will flag up measures for preventing burst pipes, securing the property and maybe making the landlord aware if your house is going to be empty for a set period of time.

2. Turn on the heat

If you have central heating, make sure you set your heating to come on for a couple of hours in the morning and evening to around 15o C.  If you don’t do this and your pipes burst you could be held responsible for the cost of the repairs so it’s best to be safe rather than sorry! IIf you do not have central heating turn off the water supply at the stop clock, drain the cold water system and switch off the water heater.

3. Keep your house safe and secure

Make sure you lock all your windows and doors when you leave for the holidays.  Use a timer switch on lights and radios as this will create the impression that there’s somebody home (you can get these very cheaply).  Ensure that you take your valuables with you, or ensure that they are not visible from the outside of the property.

4. Everybody needs good neighbours

Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house while you’re away and leave an emergency telephone number that they can contact you on.

5. Who is doing what?

If everybody in your house is leaving for the holidays – make sure that the last person to go knows they need to tie up the loose ends.  Making certain that no food has been left in the fridge and unplugging electrical goods may prevent problems while you are away, double check that all windows and doors are locked.


Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



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