During the winter months it is very important that as the tenant of a property you take precautions to protect the property or any surrounding properties from damage that can be caused by freezing temperatures at this time of year.
It is a condition of your lease and responsibility as the legal tenant(s) to be diligent and take steps to make sure the property is heated and kept warm to a level that will reduce the risk of burst pipes caused by freezing temperatures.
If you are leaving your property at any time during the winter period for holidays or going back home to relatives for the Christmas period, the property should be drained down by a qualified plumber to make sure there is no water in the pipes that could freeze and burst.
The following is a list of some precautions you can take but it is by no means extensive. Make sure you know where the stop cock is so you can turn the water off in an emergency.
- If there is a loft hatch, leave it open slightly so the warm air gets into the attic and reduces the chance of pipes in there freezing. Heat the property on a regular basis, especially during the night.
- It is more economical to have the heating on for long spells at a low setting than turning it on and off for short spells with the thermostat at a high temperature. If you get a burst pipe turn the water off at the stop cock immediately and call a plumber. If it is out of hours and you cannot get the water to shut off contact an out of hours emergency plumber, please let the plumber know.
- If your rent is paid directly to Belvoir, your property is managed by Belvoir. If it is paid to the landlord then you should contact your landlord for instruction.
- If you live in a flat it is worthwhile getting your neighbours contact numbers in case either of you need to get in touch if you have a water leak.
- If you have a leak in your ceiling from above it is best to release the water by putting a couple of small holes using a screwdriver. This is so the water doesn’t build up and potentially bring the whole ceiling down due to the weight of the water.
- If you are leaving the property vacant for any length of time during the winter months please let the office know well in advance and make sure all the radiators have the thermostat turned to the ‘frost’ setting which is usually indicated by a (*). This will make sure the radiators automatically come on if the temperature drops but make sure the boiler is not switched off at any time.
Out of hours callouts for plumbers are emergencies only. Boiler breakdowns or any issues that are not a safety risk to the tenants or property are not emergency situations, and if a call out is made for non-emergency situations by the tenant they will be liable for the out of hours call out charge.