It’s Christmas, and at this time of the year many of us like to enjoy the festivities, irrespective of whether we own our property or rent it, because a house is our home, and never more so at Christmas. If, however, you are a tenant in a rented property, there are a few points to be mindful of to ensure that you don’t break your tenancy agreement or upset your landlord. There are also some things which your property manager/letting agent can deal with so that the season is a cracker.
Deck the halls – Decorating your rented home
Your tenancy agreement might mean that you are unable to pin or hang Christmas decorations on doors or walls. In this instance, you can still display ornaments on surfaces, mantelpieces, and shelves. The same goes for your door wreath. You can hang this with ribbon, or a wreath hanger, so that you don’t have to hammer a nail into the front door. Also be mindful of candles, overloading electrical plug sockets or damaged string lists as these can often be the source of fires in your home.
If in doubt about what you can and can’t do, speak to your property manager or the landlord directly to ensure that you are not in breach of your tenancy agreement.
What should you do if your boiler breaks down?
No one wants to think about being without heating during the winter, especially during the Christmas season. However, on occasion this happens. In the first instance call your landlord, or if managed by a property management company, then them. Do this immediately as it is the legal responsibility for your landlord to ensure that your property is warm and habitable. Your agent or landlord should carry out repairs in a ‘reasonable time’, as outlined under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. If it is an emergency, then you should expect this to be completed in 24 hours.
The same rules apply for water, electricity and gas.
Are you going away for Christmas?
If you are leaving your home unattended during Christmas, than be sure to tell your property manager so that they are aware that the premises will be vacant. Also, turn off the water supply at the mains while you’re away. Escape of water accounts for over a third of all claims on household insurance, so it makes sense to try and avoid any unnecessary damage.
As a landlord, it’s also prudent to regularly check pipes to make sure that there are no cracks in the pipes which can lead to flooding. You may also wish to check your insurance policy as there may be a clause in it relating to the property being vacant for a long period of time.
Damage from parties
Christmas is associated with good times, and often parties are a great way to celebrate, but sometimes accidents happen. If they do, then you do have a duty to inform your landlord or property agent of what’s happened and the extent of the damage. Together you can then agree on the best way to organise repairs. If you do not notify them, you may find that an amount may be deducted from your deposit, or you could potentially face legal action.
Computer says No
If you find that you have no WIFI over the festive period, then it can be frustrating. The same applies for landlines and digital tv packages. Your landlord does not have to provide broadband as standard, although some will. And herein lies the issue. The responsibility for contacting the internet provider and fixing the situation will fall to whoever is the named account holder for the policy. As mentioned, this may or may not be your landlord. So when the computer says No, it’s time to check the small print of your internet contract.
Hopefully the above gives some clear and concise guidance on what to expect over the festive period. If, as a landlord, you have read this and are thinking about the work involved for you over the Christmas period, then get in touch. We would be happy to work with you to manage your property and give you perhaps the best present: your time back.
Contact us here to discuss your needs.