For anyone looking to rent a property in the North East as they prepare to move to the region for the first time, there are plenty of things to be excited about. The area ranks amongst the best places to live in the UK – boasting attractions and entertainment galore, vibrant cities, stunning countryside and a spectacular coastline, and amenities and options that cater to all tastes.
One thing that might take a while to get used to is the weather. It is getting towards that time now, with autumn upon us and winter waiting in the wings, with this a period that can present particular challenges for tenants living in rental accommodation.
A little careful planning and common sense can make a big difference during the colder days that are soon to come.
Consider these, our three top tips for tenants and find out how to keep your rental home nice and warm this winter.
Keeping Warm During Winter
First things first – go back to basics and retain the heat your rental home has already. Close curtains and blinds once the sun starts to set and use draught excluders to keep the cold out. Most windows should be kept closed, but do give some thought to ventilation – in kitchens and bathrooms in particular – in order to keep condensation, damp and mould in check.
Don’t use radiators for drying wet washing – as tempting as this might be – as this limits their output and a clothes horse is far more efficient, whilst rugs are an absolute must in properties that don’t have carpets.
Yes, those boards look fabulous, but experts suggest that uninsulated floors can be responsible for a 10% heat loss from a home. Finally, keep a tight grip on the thermostat – with a constant, low output more effective (and less expensive) than turning the central heating on and off for short bursts over and again.
Keeping Costs Down
Your household bills will go up in winter, but for those keen to keep costs to a minimum, simple steps can help to keep things under control. Invest in extra bedding, keep doors closed and put on additional layers, these are all little things that can make a big difference.
Our best advice, however, is to do your research before committing to a rental property. Be sure to ask to see the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) prior to moving in, as rental homes must meet strict regulations, with a minimum rating E, and think about the property’s aspect.
Rooms that are south facing will be warmer, and the more heat you can soak up from the sun, the less you’ll need your radiators to produce. Request information about insulation – and ask if improvements can be made. You’ll notice the difference in your bills and such things can be beneficial for tenants and landlords alike.
For those who find themselves unable to afford to keep their rental home warm this winter, financial assistance might be available under the Affordable Warmth Obligation Scheme.
Qualifying criteria apply, but those claiming certain benefits and living in a privately-owned or rented property, or a social housing rented home, should be sure to check their eligibility. Financial aid can cover replacing or repairing an underperforming boiler (or making other upgrades to the central heating system) and insulation work, including that in lofts, attics and cavity walls.
Think you might qualify? Our advice is to speak to your landlord or letting agent as the chances are they’ll be in favour of improvements that benefit the property.
Further details are available via the Government website – at https://www.gov.uk/energy-company-obligation – whilst additional guidance and information can also be found elsewhere online.
So there it is, simple guidance and advice that, for anyone preparing to move to the North-East for the first time, can make it that much easier to acclimatise to the cold days and nights that are soon to come.
The region can be cold, there is no question about it, but keep draughts to a minimum and there’s no need to shiver in your rental home, and you can keep warm this winter.