New Director appointed at IPM

Inspired Property Management is excited to welcome Andrea Barnard MIRPM as Associate Director at Inspired Property Management with immediate effect. This new appointment will strengthen the existing Board and in this new role, and Andrea’s position will support the continued growth and progression of IPM within the industry.

With a career to date of more than 20 years in the property industry, Andrea brings extensive experience in property management, leadership and business strategy gained working in the property industry, delivering to clients across the UK. Andrea’s focus will be on innovation in property management, added value and excellence in customer service delivery.

Commenting on the appointments, Danielle Parker, Director at IPM, said: “I am pleased to recognise Andrea’s commitment to the business and look forward to our continued growth and expansion within the business. Her promotion is yet another strategic investment in our business and a further statement of our ambition. The continued growth of our presence across the North and the development of our residential portfolio are key targets for the business, and I am certain that with Andrea’s new appointment IPM will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Eco-friendly ways to add value and reduce running costs to a property

For property owners looking to make eco-friendly home improvements that might also add value, IPM has provided seven tips.

With the advancement of green heating technology and advancements in materials, homeowners are starting to seriously consider green or renewable ways to run their homes to reduce their carbon footprint.

There are actually a number of ways to run your home while saving some money and doing your bit for the environment. It’s not just the environment that people are concerned with either; energy prices are rising, so it’s no surprise that people are looking for more efficient ways to manage their homes and reduce their costs. If you’re looking for an eco-heating solution, then here are some alternative options available to you:

1. Insulation

Upgrading a home’s insulation, specifically solid wall insulation, is one of the best ways of improving efficiency and reducing energy usage. It costs an estimated £2,750 to do but can boost property value by 3%. Based on the average UK house price of £273,762, this equates to £8,213, adding value to the tune of £5,463. This makes it the most profitable eco-friendly upgrade available to homeowners when it comes to adding value to their home, as well as reducing their carbon footprint.

2. Electric car charging port

Despite the increasing popularity of electric and hybrid cars, it’s still very rare to find a home that comes with its own charge point. Installation is relatively inexpensive, around £800, and can add around 1.5% to the home’s value, adding £3,306 in value.

3. Boiler upgrade

Many homes can still benefit from a good old fashioned boiler upgrade. While notoriously expensive to do, around £2,500, the increased efficiency and longevity that a new boiler provides adds around 1.9% to the home’s value, adding £2,701 in value.

4. Tankless water system

Similarly, if a home uses a tank system for its hot water, in which it uses a large tank to store large amounts of water that must then be heated every time hot water is required, it’s a very good idea to replace it with a tankless heater system. Doing so costs around £1,275 but adds 1.2% to the property’s value, a boost of £1,984.

5. Double glazing

Fitting double-glazed windows throughout the home is very expensive, costing an estimated £6,575. It is, however, an essential step towards creating an energy efficient and warm home and is so important to homebuyers that the improvement adds 3% to the value of a property. Measured against the cost, this brings an added value of £1,638.

6. LED lighting and roof repairs

Increased efficiency and good profits can also be added through installing energy efficient LED lighting throughout the home (£1,069 profit), and addressing any faults or weaknesses with the roof (£987 profit).

7. Solar panels

Despite being one of the most common ways of improving the carbon footprint of a home, it seems they do very little in terms of added value. Installation is expensive, around £5,875, while the value added is estimated to be £1,916, a loss of -£3,959. However, there are obvious savings to be made from reduced utility bills, so if the owner is planning to stay in the home for many years to come, solar panels can still offer good savings.

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “Eco-friendly home renovations and upgrades can be a brilliant way of reducing the running costs of your home, which is something that has been brought into focus due to the spiralling cost of living.

“But they don’t just reduce the day-to-day costs associated with our homes, they can also add value for such a time that you do come to sell.

“In addition to the financial benefits they bring to the home, they can also help us make a positive change with regards to the environment and this eco-friendly conscience is something we are seeing more and more from the modern-day homebuyer.”

Quick tips to save energy

Follow our tips and advice for straightforward ways to save energy, lower your bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

Whether you’re a homeowner, a private or social renter, a student, or you live with your parents, there are many things you can do.

We’re all responsible for the energy we use in our homes. Take a look at our quick tips and see how you could save up to £375 a year* on your bills.

*Savings are for a typical three-bedroom, gas-heated home in Great Britain, using a gas price of 7.4p/kWh and electricity price of 28.3p/kWh (based on April 2022 price cap). Water savings are based on average occupancy. This household is projected to spend a total £1,970 on energy annually, including standing charge. Figures updated March 2022.

Before you start

Understand your energy bill. The information on a typical energy bill can be confusing, but understanding it can go a long way to helping you get to grips with your energy use at home.

1. Switch off standby

You can save around £55 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode.

Almost all electrical appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming. You may want to think about getting a standby saver or smart plug which allows you to turn all your appliances off standby in one go.

Check the instructions for any appliances you aren’t sure about. Some satellite and digital TV recorders may need to be left plugged in so they can keep track of any programmes you want to record.

Find out which appliances use most energy in your home. 

2. Draught-proof windows and doors

Unless your home is very new, you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, or through the chimney.

Professional draught-proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can cost around £225, but can save around £45 a year on energy bills. DIY draught proofing can be much cheaper.

Find out more about reducing home heat loss.

3. Turn off lights

Turn your lights off when you’re not using them or when you leave a room. This will save you around £20 a year on your annual energy bills.

Replacing all the lights in your home with LED bulbs could help you save even more.

4. Careful with your washing

You can save around £28 a year from your energy bill just by using your washing machine more carefully:

  • Use your washing machine on a 30-degree cycle instead of higher temperatures.
  • Reduce your washing machine use by one run per week for a year.

5. Avoid the tumble dryer

Avoid using a tumble dryer for your clothes: dry clothes on racks inside where possible or outside in warmer weather to save £60 a year.

6. Spend less time in the shower

Keeping your shower time to just 4 minutes could save a typical household £70 a year on their energy bills.

7. Swap your bath for a shower

Some of us might enjoy a long soak in the bath, but swapping just one bath a week with a 4-minute shower could save you £12 a year on your energy bills.

8. Be savvy in the kitchen

Kettles are one of the most used appliances in the kitchen. But many of us will admit that we at least occasionally boil the kettle with more water than we’re going to use.

Avoid overfilling the kettle and save yourself £11 a year on your electricity bill.

You could also consider fitting an aerator onto your existing kitchen tap to reduce the amount of water coming out without affecting how it washes or rinses. An aerator is a small gadget with tiny holes – they attach to the spout of taps and are cheap and easy to install – and could save you £25 a year.

9. Fill your dishwasher

Only run your dishwasher when it is full to reduce the amount of water you use. Reducing your dishwasher use by one run per week for a year could save you £14.

10. Top up the insulation

Effective insulation of your hot water cylinder is important: even if you have thin spray foam or a loose 25mm jacket, you can benefit from increasing the insulation to a British Standard Jacket 80mm thick, saving £35 a year in the process.

Insulating your water tank, pipes and radiators is a quick and easy way to save money on your bills.

Government launches new service for leaseholders to track Building Safety Fund progress

Leaseholders will be able to track their building owner’s progress on remediation through a new online service, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced.

Through the new Leaseholder and Resident Service, which aims to speed up the process of removing unsafe non-aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from the highest-risk buildings, leaseholders in tower blocks will have access to updates on the status of their building’s application to the government’s Building Safety Fund.

As part of the process, leaseholders will be given a unique code to track their building’s progress.

The government said the online portal, launched today, will expose building owners who are failing to take action to fix their properties by making the process more transparent.

The move follows housing secretary Michael Gove’s building safety announcement last week, during which he promised leaseholders statutory protection from non-cladding costs.

He also said he would force developers to foot a £4bn bill to remove unsafe cladding from buildings between 11 and 18 metres tall.

The Building Safety Fund was launched in May 2020 after chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the government would be providing £1bn in funding to remove dangerous non-ACM cladding from buildings taller than 18 metres.

In 2021, the government announced that it would be increasing the funding by £3.5bn.

But the latest figures from the DLUHC, published today, show that progress is slow. None of the social housing blocks granted building safety funding have had their remediation work completed yet.

So far the government has approved £976m for the remediation of non-ACM cladding – £851m for the private sector and £125m for the social sector.

But as of 31 December 2021, the Building Safety Fund’s total expenditure, including both sectors, was only £219m.

Building safety minister Lord Stephen Greenhalgh said: “It is unacceptable that four years after the Grenfell tragedy innocent leaseholders are still living in buildings with unsafe cladding.”

He added that building owners are responsible for making their buildings safe.

“We will no longer allow them to shirk from their duties and hide behind processes and corporate loopholes.

“Everyone – including leaseholders – has a right to know what is happening with their building and to live safely,” he said.

Geeta Nanda, chair of the G15 and chief executive of Metropolitan Thames Valley, said that ensuring residents affected by building safety issues are kept up to date with information is “essential”.

“We welcome the new Building Safety Fund online portal, which will help ensure that the information being provided to residents on this critical funding support is as accurate and up to date as possible,” she said.

Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said greater transparency over the progress of the Building Safety Find is a “positive move”.

“Housing associations are committed to working with the government to tackle the building safety crisis and support all efforts to protect leaseholders from costs,” she added.

WHY HAS THE GOVERNMENT INTRODUCED THIS SERVICE?

The applicant for the BSF, usually the building owner or managing agent, is responsible for keeping leaseholders and residents updated about the progress of their building’s BSF application. Rather than waiting for information from the applicant, leaseholders and residents will be able to access information directly.

HOW CAN THE SERVICE BE ACCESSED?

Leaseholders and residents can access the Service by inputting a ‘unique building code’ for their building.  All applicants have been sent information about the Service and their building code before its launch and they have been asked to share this with leaseholders and residents.

In addition, each private sector resident will be sent their building code directly via the post (20-24 Jan).

If you are a leaseholder and do not have this information, you should request it from the applicant (usually the building owner or managing agent).

HOW OFTEN WILL THE INFORMATION ON THE SERVICE BE UPDATED?

All application status updates will be published on the third week of each month.

DOES THE SERVICE INCLUDE INFORMATION ON BUILDINGS WITH ACM CLADDING?

No. The Service currently only includes buildings that are part of the Building Safety Fund (BSF) which covers unsafe non-ACM cladded buildings.

The government is however considering options for providing information on ACM cladded buildings and will review feedback on the new Service to inform decisions.

In the meantime, leaseholders and residents of buildings with ACM cladding that are being remediated should contact their responsible entity (usually the building owner or managing agent) for updates on ACM projects.

 

You can find out more information on the government website.

Government to mandate fitting CO alarms

Agents should act now ahead of Carbon Monoxide alarm laws

Fitting carbon monoxide alarms is to become mandatory in social and private rented properties that use gas boilers or fires, Housing Minister Eddie Hughes MP has announced.

Forthcoming regulation changes will also require CO alarms to be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires are installed in any home.

Landlords and housing providers in social and private rented sectors will need to repair or replace smoke and CO alarms once they are told they are faulty, and smoke alarms must be fitted in all rented accommodation.

The reforms follow a commitment in the Social Housing White Paper, published last year. The White Paper set out proposals for wide-ranging reforms of the social housing sector which will drive up standards, including giving tenants a clear way to raise concerns and providing the regulator with stronger powers to take enforcement action.

The cost of the new requirements to install and maintain alarms will fall to property owners.

Eddie Hughes MP said: “Around 20 people are killed each year in accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and many more through house fires – but we know that simple interventions can stop these needless deaths.

“I’m proud that the new rules being proposed will ensure even more homes are fitted with life-saving alarms. Whether you own your home, are privately renting or in social housing – everyone deserves to feel safe and this is an incredibly important step in protecting those at risk.”

Guidance relating to where alarms are fitted and to ensure alarms meet relevant standards will also be updated.

The reforms follow a 2-month consultation, and changes will be brought forward through the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and the statutory guidance (Approved Document J) supporting Part J of the Building Regulations.

 

Government forces developers to fix cladding crisis

Government take action of cladding disaster

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove MP, has written to developers to warn them that they must pay to fix cladding defects in 11-18 metre residential leasehold buildings.

In a public letter released today, Mr Gove presented the industry with a deadline of early March to agree to a fully funded plan of action.

In the letter, the Secretary of State asks companies to agree to:

  • make financial contributions to a dedicated fund to cover the full outstanding cost to remediate unsafe cladding on 11-18 metre buildings, currently estimated to be £4 billion
  • fund and undertake all necessary remediation of buildings over 11 metres that they have played a role in developing
  • provide comprehensive information on all buildings over 11 metres which have historic safety defects and which they have played a part in constructing in the last 30 years

Mr Gove also states that:

“It is neither fair nor decent that innocent leaseholders, many of whom have worked hard and made sacrifices to get a foot on the housing ladder, should be landed with bills they cannot afford to fix problems they did not cause.

“Government has accepted its share of responsibility and made significant financial provision through its ACM remediation programme and the Building Safety Fund. Some developers have already done the right thing and funded remedial works and I commend them for those actions.

“But too many others have failed to live up to their responsibilities.”

The letter issued a warning to developers that the government will take all steps necessary to make this happen, including restricting access to government funding and future procurements, the use of planning powers and the pursuit of companies through the courts if they do not comply. Mr Gove also added that if industry fails to take responsibility for remediation, the government will if necessary impose a solution in law.

The government is still set to announce a decision on which companies are in scope for funding contributions, but it is expected to cover all firms with annual profits from housebuilding at or above £10 million.

Later today, the Secretary of State is also due to make an oral statement to the House of Commons announcing plans to protect leaseholders, who are trapped in unsellable homes and face excessive bills to fix dangerous cladding defects. In respect of this, Mr Gove is set to unveil a package of measures to end the situation of buildings being declared unsafe when they are not.

Mr Gove says developers must take forward all necessary remediation work at pace – prioritising those with greatest risks first and in all cases finding the quickest and most proportionate solution to make buildings safe.

He calls on industry to enter an open and transparent dialogue with the government to hear their proposals, starting with a roundtable with the largest residential developers and trade bodies. The government will invite leaseholders and those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy to the table to discuss solutions at appropriate junctures to ensure discussions are not taking place behind closed doors.

The government will announce a decision on which companies are in scope for funding contributions following discussions with industry but expect it to cover all firms with annual profits from housebuilding at or above £10 million.

Property news in review – the big stories of 2021

What a year it’s been for landlords, tenants and property managers who, as well as coping with the Covid fall-out of rent arrears and court delays, lockdowns, have faced new regulations and an extended evictions ban as well as growing Universal Credit headaches and burgeoning licensing schemes.

With 2022 shaping up to be equally challenging, we take a to look back at the sector’s biggest stories of 2021.

Lets & Pets

In January, Housing Minister Christopher Pincher launched an update to the Model Tenancy Agreement to prevent landlords from issuing blanket ‘no pets’ bans. Instead, consent for pets would be the default position, with rejections only made where there was good reason such as in smaller properties or flats where owning a pet could be impractical.

Portfolio savvy sale

In what was thought to be the country’s largest-ever mortgage transaction, one of Britain’s biggest private landlords, Alastair Kerr, transferred ownership of his 330 rental homes in west London into a company structure in February, saving himself more than £10 million in tax and mortgage interest, to take advantage of incorporation relief rules.

Fallen property guru

Property guru Glenn Armstrong, of Property Millionaire Academy, was declared bankrupt, owing £4.9 million to at least 38 creditors, who were queuing up to claim back huge amounts of up to £537,000. Armstrong also had 10 unpaid county court judgements against his related companies as well as 10 unpaid personal county court judgements.

Electrical reports

Landlords were warned not to expect a grace period or extension to the deadline for properties to conform to the new electrical safety standards. They had been told that after 1st April, all existing tenancies would need an EICR (electrical installation condition report) but argued that this would be difficult given the challenges of accessing properties and finding approved electricians to do the work during the pandemic.

Unlimited fines for Fire Safety impersonators

HMO landlords and their managing agents were told in March they could face unlimited fines if caught obstructing or impersonating a fire inspector, or if they breached fire safety regulations under the upgraded Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 legislation.

Stamp duty holiday

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the extended stamp duty holiday would end on 30th June instead of the end of March, but made no immediate change to Corporation Tax or Capital Gains Tax in his spring Budget. Corporation Tax would increase to 25% in April 2023, while small businesses with profits of less than £50,000 would remain at the current rate of 19%. The government also announced that owners of second homes or holiday lets would soon have to rent their properties out for at least 70 days a year in order to pay the cheaper business rates tax, rather than just making the property ‘available to rent’.

Right to rent

The government reassured landlords that they wouldn’t need to evict a tenant without settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme unless issued with a ‘Notice of letting to a disqualified person’ by the Home Office. In April, new guidance stated that from 1st July, if a tenant couldn’t produce evidence of their continued right to rent, landlords had to make a report to the Home Office to maintain their statutory excuse – or face a civil penalty.

Green homes grant end

The government axed its much-maligned Green Homes Grant in May, six months after it was launched. It was plagued by a lack of tradespeople willing to go through the Trustmark approval process to join the scheme, Covid restrictions, confusion over which upgrades and improvements qualified under the scheme and a lack of applications.

Ban extension

The evictions ban was extended by a further two months until at least 31st May, after being repeated several times during the Covid pandemic. It meant that a landlord who gave notice of eviction on 31st May would not be able to physically evict the tenant until November, while those who already had warrants lined up, now had to wait a further two months to evict.

Breathing space

From 4th May, landlords, agents and their solicitors were told to include details of the government’s breathing space debt scheme within paperwork when seeking to gain possession of a property, or risk the eviction being rejected – giving someone in problem debt the right to legal protections from their creditors for up to 60 days.

Renters reform

Eighteen months after she first announced the Renters Reform Bill, the Queen’s Speech included the government’s intention to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, as well as plans to strengthen repossession grounds for landlords and proposals for a new ‘lifetime’ tenancy deposit model. The NRLA’s Ben Beadle said that within 18 months, landlords in England and Wales would have to register with a redress scheme, be recorded on national database and embrace a new, portable ‘lifetime deposit’ for tenants in order to be legal.

Tax simplifcation?

The Office of Tax Simplification recommended that those selling property should be given 60 rather than 30 days to report and pay their Capital Gains Tax (CGT), to give the 150,000 people who report their property sale to the tax authorities each year more time to work out if they are due to pay CGT, and for the 85,000 who are usually liable to pay it more time to file their UK Property tax return.

Mick’s offer

Nottingham landlord Mick Roberts offered to pay his tenants’ deposit so they could buy their homes, after becoming disillusioned with the sector. In June Mick blamed government policies, licensing schemes and a tortuous Universal Credit system for his decision after 24 years as a landlord housing mainly benefit claimants.

Huge fine

Landlord couple James and Catherine Doig were ordered to pay more than £34,000 in back rent to six tenants after sub-letting their unsafe, unlicensed HMO via a rent-to-rent deal – despite insisting that they didn’t know about licensing rules covering their property in Fordwych Road. Camden Council also uncovered numerous safety issues including obstructed fire escapes.

Form relief

Landlords who own leasehold properties in low and medium-rise apartment blocks affected by the cladding scandal would no longer have to supply an EWS1 form when selling or re-mortgaging their properties, the government announced in July.

Landlord register

Housing minister Eddie Hughes told a Conservative party conference fringe meeting in October that both a landlord register and a lifetime rental deposit scheme in England were set to go ahead. However, he indicated the White Paper was unlikely to be published until the New Year and said he was keen that the new measures would “not have unintended consequences” for either landlords or tenants.

Alarming changes

Revisions to the smoke and carbon monoxide detector regulations in November made it mandatory to fit smoke alarms in all rented accommodation regardless of tenure, and required carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires were installed in any rented home. All landlords – in both private and social sectors – also now had to repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once told they were faulty.

Looking back over the last 12 months can help give perspective on just what has happened in the property industry and indicate changes needed in the future.

Fire Safety Bill comes into law in Wales

The Fire Safety Act 2021 has now come into force in Wales.

It amends the Fire Safety Order 2005 (“the 2005 Order”) and clarifies that for any building containing two or more sets of domestic premises

  • The 2005 Order applies to the building’s structure and external walls and any common parts, and applies to the entrance doors to individual flats opening into common parts; and
  • References to external walls in the 2005 Order include “doors or windows in those walls” and “anything attached to the exterior of those walls (including balconies).”

The aim of these amendments to the 2005 Order is to clarify that the Responsible Person must manage and reduce the risk of fire for these areas.

The fire risk assessment will therefore be required to cover these areas.

The clarification empowers the local fire and rescue authority to take enforcement action in respect of these areas.

To accompany the Act coming into force the Welsh Government has also published guidance on the roles and responsibilities of those responsible for fire safety in buildings.

Further and more detailed guidance will also be published in the coming months.

Further information:

Top cause of damp in the winter and how to treat it

Damp is something no homeowner wants to deal with. Essentially, damp is just excess moisture in your home that can’t escape and can cause plenty of problems, some costing money to resolve.

A room with damp may feel cold and unpleasant, and if ignored, it can even result in more serious structural issues. However, IPM have pulled together their top tips on how you can prevent, and even fix, damp in your home.

Signs of damp

Autumn and winter – or really any rainy, windy period with long wet spells – is the worst time for getting damp. Usually, you’re able to smell the distinctive, musty damp smell, but there are other warning signs of damp that you should be aware of, including small black or grey spots on walls, ceilings, and sealant, excessive condensation on windows as well as growing mould in hidden spots such as behind furniture.

So, where should you be checking for damp?

  • Walls and ceilings
  • Bathroom and kitchen
  • Windows
  • Furniture
  • Basements and cellars

What causes damp in your home?

Many things can cause damp, and since water and moisture tend to cause damage over time, it may already be too late once you do finally notice. If you can identify what’s causing the damp earlier, you’ve got a better chance of diagnosing and treating it.

1. Penetrating Damp

When the exterior of your home lets in water, even a small crack can cause major issues. Older houses, in particular, can face issues like weathered flashing and mortar pointing that’s falling away, allowing rain to pool and trickle in. Also, check you have no leaking or blocked gutters causing erosion.

2. Poor ventilation

Moisture does not just come from outside, every time you run a shower, leave laundry to dry, cook or wash, you’re introducing a little bit of moisture into your home, which is a top cause of damp. If this moist air can’t escape, it will build up and cause condensation. Modern homes are designed to be watertight, which is great for stopping penetrating damp, but not so great for ventilation.

3. Lack of waterproofing

Whilst older homes certainly have their charm, sadly they are more prone to having damp. Unlike more modern properties, waterproofing tends to be somewhat poor in older homes, so moisture is more likely to pass through ceilings and walls. Chimneys, in particular, can be a cause for concern. This is because if an old chimney isn’t fully blocked off, water can trickle down, causing issues in rooms that may not even have a fireplace anymore.

4. Rising damp

Damp-proof course is a sort of space built into the walls of houses preventing damp from spreading through the walls. Unfortunately, some older properties may not have these, or they may just be less effective, essentially meaning moisture can rise from the ground below the house and move into the house and floors above. If your home begins to feel cold and smell a bit musty, getting progressively worse the closer you are to ground level, you may have rising damp.

How to treat damp

Treating damp is possible – however, it’s better if you can try prevent it occurring in the first place. Here are some effective ways you can ensure your home remains warm and cosy:

1. Treating damp walls

Damp walls may be a pain, but they can be easily treated. Warm soapy water should do the trick and remove any black mould spores and spots from walls. However, professionals may need to be called if you have a serious case of rising damp as they might need to replaster and damp-proof internal walls, which removes any damage and stops it from happening again.

2. Ventilation

Don’t have extractor fans in your home and find that rooms stay damp for a long time (for instance, post-shower)? Well, it may be worth investing in these as they are extremely important in filtering out excess moisture. However, if that’s not possible, opening your windows slightly should help keep your home ventilated and well-aired.

Another solution for poor ventilation is a dehumidifier. These budget-friendly machines pull moisture out of the air and are perfect for that that one particular room which has a specific problem with damp, such as your attic or basement.

3. Keep your house warm

During the colder months, make sure your heating is running for at least some of the day and that it maintains a constant temperature. Sudden drops in temperature and cold spells in your home could cause condensation, especially around windows.

Other ways of keeping your house warm include investing in double-glazed windows – if you don’t already have them – and making sure you have loft and wall insulation to avoid heat escaping your home. As a bonus, this will also reduce your heating bills!

 

Advice for winter upkeep to your property

With the daylight hours getting shorter, and the weather finally cooling to something like the seasonal norm, it’s worth remembering that your property might need some attention to stay in top condition in the winter months
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Winter months can cause costly and unwanted problems in a property, but if you undertake some winter preparation on your property you could save valuable time and money.It’s important having a well-maintained property, and to keep of any maintenance ahead of the winter months.Here are our top tips for keeping your property in good shape:

Inside your property

A warm home is a happy one. This is important to keep any damp at bay.

Bleeding radiators This is a simple yet effective way that can sometimes be overlooked.

Servicing the boiler Keeping on top of services is far cheaper in the long run compared to the call out fee of a busy engineer for an urgent repairwomen your boiler breaks.

Limiting draughts in the property Sealing them is a quick and easy way to help you stay warm and save money. Check for draughts around the edges of window frames, under doors, and around letterboxes.

Insulate the loft loft insulation can make a big difference when it comes to preserving heat in a property, if there is insulation, it’s worth checking it’s up to standard.

Lag the pipes In order to keep pipes frost-free, you can wrap them in lagging which is nice and cheap but can save a tonne by stopping pipes from freezing and avoid them bursting.

Outside your property

Keeping on top of the exterior maintenance is really important. In order to limit potentially expensive damages before the worst of the weather hits, you should:

Check and clean gutters to limit blockages and prevent water damage.

Repair and maintain garden fences, windows and other features

Check the roof as missing tiles as a bad storm can cause structural problems in the long-term

Your garden

With autumn leaves scattered and gloomy days approaching a well-maintained garden can give a property the burst of colour and tidiness it needs.

Landlords could consider planting new plants, trimming back hedges, and sweeping away any dead debris.