As it is now December and fast approaching the festive period, we realise many of you will take this opportunity to go home for the
holidays! We hope you will enjoy any time you spend away, and would like to take this opportunity to issue some friendly reminders of
your responsibilities to your rental property at this time of year.

VACANT PERIODS: you are fully responsible under the terms and conditions of your lease for the property during extended
vacant periods, so PLEASE follow the advice below and take appropriate precautions to ensure your property is adequately
prepared for your absence.

SECURITY: you must ensure your property is fully secured using all available locks on doors and windows
which you hold a key for.

HEATING/PLUMBING: It is of utmost importance that you take steps to ensure that the likelihood of frozen and/or burst pipes
is negated during the winter. Current best practice guidelines stipulate that heating should be programmed to come on
between 1am – 4am and 2pm – 5pm at a minimum of 15 degrees Celsius. If the property is to be empty for an extended
period it is sensible to have the heating/water system drained down by a qualified contractor. You might think it’s a good idea
to save money by simply turning the heating off, but a costly bill for damage caused by burst pipes due to lack of following
recommendations would be a nasty start to the new year! If you have a loft you should also leave the hatch open to allow air
to circulate in this space around the pipe works.

ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES: Unplug ALL appliances, to avoid the risk of fire in the event of a fault.

REMOVE ALL RUBBISH: I know it’s an obvious one, but please don’t forget to take your rubbish out before you leave – and
please leave enough time for you to put your bins out AND bring them back in again.

SMOKE ALARMS: Test these are working before you leave and change batteries if necessary.

And remember, if you have pre-payment meters to ensure they are well topped up before you leave, no money means no heating!