Posts with tag: winter

4 tips to help keep heating bills low this winter

Published On: January 28, 2022 at 9:26 am


Categories: Property News,Tenant News

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To help us stay warm without the hefty price tags whilst working from home this winter, ScS has teamed up with Holly Herbert, Head of Content at, to provide tips for keeping heating bills low.

1. Don’t heat empty space  

Holly says: “Don’t bother heating rooms that are empty, such as hallways or unused spare rooms. Instead, turn the radiators off and close the doors. Doing so can cut your bill by a third depending on how many rooms you’re not using.”

2. Fluffy flooring  

“Using matts and rugs for floors that aren’t carpeted will help heat cold floors for less than underfloor heating and make you feel warmer, so you don’t feel the need to crank up the heating,” Holly adds.

3. Window warmers  

“Thick curtains are also a great way to keep the heat in your home. Opt for those marked thermal and make sure you keep these closed to avoid drafts coming in and encouraging you to have the heating on higher, saving around 10% off your bill,” advises Holly.

4. Furniture placement   

“Make sure your bed is closer to the radiator than the window (not too close or it will trap the heat), to help you feel warmer while you sleep. Similarly, ensure your sofa isn’t too close to the radiator as this will absorb the heat and the room won’t feel the benefit. In general, keep all furniture six inches away from the radiators to allow the heat to flow around the room more efficiently, saving up to 10% on bills. Keeping sofas and chairs away from external walls will also help you feel warmer while relaxing,” says Holly.  

Dale Gillespie, Head of Acquisition at ScS, said: “Though many put off turning the heating on until temperatures drop really low, it’s surprising to see how many people leave it on for most of the day.

“We were surprised to see such a difference in behaviours across the UK with some cities preferring to heat their homes in short blasts but whacking the thermostat high where others heat on low for longer hours.

“As we’re spending more time at home, it’s amazing how big a difference a little thing like moving your sofa can help to heat up a room and reduce heating bills.”

Winter property maintenance checklist from

Published On: December 15, 2021 at 9:17 am


Categories: Landlord News,Property News

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Estate agent comparison site is reminding homeowners about the importance of property maintenance during the winter months.

It has provided the following winter property maintenance tips:

1. Ensure the boiler is working correctly

This should be done on an annual basis and, if a replacement is not required, can cost as little as £50. If, however, a replacement boiler is required, the expected cost rises to between £1,750-£3,000.* 

2. Check the roof

Cracked or missing tiles, along with damaged or misaligned facias or soffits, can let rainwater into the home causing damp and even rot. Any check-ups must be carried out by a trained professional. An inspection should cost around £250, while a minor fix to a tile, for example, will add another £70-£100. If, however, damage to the roof is severe and all the tiles need replacing, it could cost more than £7,000, so regular checks are vital.*

3. Check for blocked guttering and damaged water pipes

If gutter repairs are required, it usually costs £30/metre, while properly insulating pipes costs around £50 and replacing them if they’re damaged can cost £500+. Water damage can also be caused by inadequate brickwork pointing. A simple pointing repair costs £35-55 per metre but can rise to more than £300 if left unchecked.* 

4. Consider insulation

Are the windows and doors properly sealed? To find out, an inspection will cost around £150, and if double glazing needs replacing or installing it costs an average of £300 per window. Meanwhile, roof insulation, vital to reducing heat loss, can cost £50-£80 to partially replace or repair, while a full replacement brings the cost up to as much as £500. Further insulation issues can arise from poorly installed window trickle vents, repairs for which can cost £60 per window.*

5. Look after the radiators

If radiators are leaking or aren’t properly and regularly bled, they don’t heat the home efficiently. A simple check-up and bleeding cost about £80, but if any radiators need replacing, they can cost £250 each.*

6. Inspect your chimney

If the home has a chimney, it must be regularly inspected before winter use to ensure it isn’t blocked. If homeowners fail to do this, the risk of a house fire is all too great, the resulting damage of which can be incalculable. A check-up and clean cost as little as £50.*

Colby Short, founder and CEO of, comments: “In the winter, the efficiency and integrity of the home are often taken for granted. But as the weather turns cold, it can highlight some serious flaws in construction and insulation, flaws that can be very pricey to fix. Addressing such issues at the earliest possible opportunity is the best way of minimising expenses and ensuring a warm and safe winter for everyone in the home. 

“But if major repairs are required, it’s essential that qualified professionals are hired for the job. Not only is it unsafe to try and handle repairs yourself, but the quality of the repair will also be inferior and therefore need repeating again much sooner than should be required.”

*Cost of winter-proofing jobs sourced from British Gas, Money Supermarket, HouseholdQuotes, Centralheating-Quotes, MyJobQuote, and Mybuilder

UK renters are worried about paying energy bills this winter

Published On: December 8, 2021 at 10:43 am


Categories: Tenant News

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A survey of UK renters highlights concerns about increasing energy prices and ongoing hikes in household bills.

The survey, commissioned by Smart Energy GB, found 49% of renters are worried about how they will pay their bills. 57% say these concerns are having a negative impact on their mental health.

65% of renters say rising fuel costs will make it difficult for them to pay their energy bills, with 62% indicating they may struggle to pay their rent this winter.

The research has revealed that renters think landlords could be doing more to help, with 46% saying their energy bills could be better managed if their landlord made their home more energy efficient. 28% of renters don’t feel their landlord supports them enough when it comes to managing their energy use, with 85% of renters who do not feel that their property is as energy efficient as it can be concerned that a current lack of energy efficient measures will make their energy costs even higher.

Renters were also asked questions about what their landlords could do to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. 73% would like their homes to be better insulated and 54% would like gaps causing draughts filled in. 45% would like boilers to be upgraded and 44% would like double glazing windows installed.

Although 60% of tenants say being in a rented property restricts their ability to manage their energy use and costs, they are making their own environmentally friendly changes. 59% turn off lights and 56% turn off appliances when they are not being used. They are also less likely to turn the heating on, with 44% renters saying their heating remains switched off, even when it’s cold.

Additionally, 67% of tenants say having a smart meter would help them manage their energy costs, with 55% secure in the knowledge that, if they are paying the bills, they can have one installed by their energy supplier without the permission of their landlord. Some renters have been put off doing this as, not only did they think their landlord would not like it (16%), they were also concerned they may lose their deposit (14%).

Kate Faulkner, founder of, comments: “A great first starting point for landlords in terms of helping their tenants to take energy saving steps is to arrange for a smart meter installation, if they are the bill payer. Or if their tenant is the bill payer, to empower them to request a smart meter installation.

“Smart meters can also help ensure any problems with utility bill payments at the end of a lease are avoided and better still, the less money tenants spend on their utility bills means the more likely they are to be able to afford their rent payments.” 

Landlord tips for looking after let properties in winter

Published On: November 19, 2021 at 9:33 am


Categories: Landlord News,Property News

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With winter on its way in the UK, rental platform has put together a few tips to help landlords and their let properties survive the colder months.

Jonathan Daines, Founder and CEO of LettingaProperty, comments: “November and December are known for bringing a fall in lettings activity. And decreased tenant demand isn’t the only issue facing landlords – letting properties during the winter months also means there’s plenty to think about from a maintenance perspective.”

Perform maintenance checks

Looking for tenants during the winter months? LettingaProperty suggests one quick win is to fix all minor repairs. Tackling loose cupboard doors, wonky drawer handles, and dilapidated garden fences can make a difference to a potential tenant’s first impression of a property. Ensure the boiler has been serviced and bleed the radiators as part of your winter maintenance work.

Outside the property, it’s important to keep gutters and roofs clear and in good repair. Guttering that is clogged with autumn leaves and moss is unlikely to direct water away from the house efficiently, creating potential problems with damp and mould.

Take good photographs

Whether it’s for a traditional listing or 360° tour, having photos to show off your property’s potential is important. Using a professional to capture the property at its best could also help.

Highlight the home’s best features

Pay careful attention to how you describe the property when advertising it. Avoid generic language and highlight the best features to ensure the property stands out from the crowd. Marketing across multiple platforms can also help.

Keep the heating on in unoccupied properties

If the property is empty, it can be tempting to leave the heating off. However, this runs the risk of the pipes freezing and bursting, so it’s much better to leave the heating on low. In addition, any exposed pipework will need attention – insulation tubes are a cost effective and easy way to reduce the risk of freezing. External taps can also be protected with insulation tubes.

Avoid keeping the windows shut all of the time

Keeping the property warm will also help to combat any condensation, mould or damp. However, avoid the temptation to keep the windows shut all of the time, as air flow and ventilation are also key to avoiding condensation and damp.

Compare energy suppliers

Given the spiralling cost of energy bills during the winter, consider using the winter months to switch supplier, with a view to making a saving.

Protect your property investment

Finally, make sure you have relevant insurance in place, as the property is more likely to sustain damage over the winter months than in the summer, the rental platform says.

Daines comments: “Good communication with the tenant is also crucial to successful winter lettings. After all, tenants who have a good relationship with their landlord are likely to make more effort to keep the property in good condition.

“And if heavy snow, local flooding or other extreme weather is expected, the landlord and tenant can agree an emergency plan and share ways to contact each other if required. By working in partnership, they can ensure that the property will still be in tip top condition come spring.”

Good Move’s tips to help sell your house this winter

Published On: December 9, 2019 at 9:12 am


Categories: Property News

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When it comes to selling your house, it’s known that winter isn’t the best season for success. Whether it’s the bad weather putting people off viewings or families wanting to stay settled for the holiday period, everyone has their reasons to wait for the new year.

Looking at the facts, Government data shows that the six colder months of 2018/19 (October to March) saw a decrease in transactions. There were around 10,000 fewer monthly house sales in the UK than the following six warmer months (April to September 2019).

To help those keen to fight the odds and achieve their goal of moving in winter, Good Move has put together its tips. These ideas will help to make sure demand for a property stays hot, even during the colder months, making it easier to sell your house this winter:

1. Get rid of discouraging DIY tasks

From shaky windows to drilled holes left in walls, spend time fixing the little DIY jobs in your house. They might just feel like tiny inconveniences while living there, but to potential buyers, these represent yet another job to do after the ordeal of moving house. Quickly touch up any paintwork, such as skirting boards or the front door, to make your home as attractive as possible.

 2. Be sparing with scents

It makes sense to fill your house with pleasant smells to entice buyers, but remember that not everyone likes the same fragrances. Try and avoid strong-smelling air fresheners and candles as they can put buyers off, and opt for neutral scents, like fresh cotton, instead.

Baking sweet treats like cookies, or perhaps mince pies if it’s around Christmas, leaves a homely smell that will give viewers positive thoughts towards your house, and leaving pastries out on the side for people to help themselves will help viewers feel welcome

3. Keep it cosy

There is perhaps nothing more inviting than a nice warm home, so make sure you are offering that welcoming experience to everyone viewing your house. They have likely had to navigate an unfamiliar neighbourhood to get there, so make sure your home is warm and cosy (but not too hot!). Even little details like warm lighting or knitted throws on the sofa can help people imagine themselves feeling cosy and at home in your house.

4. Let in some light

As the days get shorter, even an early afternoon viewing can feel gloomy in the winter months. Lighting up the house will help to combat this. Keep all the curtains and blinds open (unless the view outside is particularly unsightly) to let in as much natural light as possible, and turn on as many lights in the house as necessary. A well-lit room feels bigger and more inviting and makes people more likely to associate positive feelings with the house.

5. Keep the garden tidy

Many people tend to neglect the garden during winter as it’s colder and people spend less time outside. But for house viewers, the garden is often a big part of their decision process. Ensure your outdoor space is tidy and well-kept to help buyers see its potential for the warmer months. Additionally, during snowy weather, make sure your path and driveway are free from snow and ice. Slipping over on the way to the front door isn’t going to leave a favourable first impression with potential buyers!

6. Keep pets away

As much loved as they may be, pets can put off prospective buyers. Some people viewing the house may have allergies, while the lingering smell of pets, especially a wet dog smell, can be a turn-off for buyers who aren’t animal lovers. Where possible, keep your pets elsewhere during viewings and make sure to vacuum well to get rid of stray hairs that can trigger viewers’ allergies.

Ross Counsel, Director at Good Move, comments: “Winter can be a really difficult time to make a sale, with the gloomy weather, people’s reluctance to move house during the colder, shorter days, and even buyers and estate agents taking time off for Christmas. Often, things can pick up in the new year as more people are looking for a new start, but if you’re still struggling, hopefully these tips will go a long way. 

“Alternatively, you can try using a quick house sale company like Good Move, which will complete your sale within three weeks with no chains involved.”

How can you Conserve Energy in your Property During the Colder Months?

Published On: February 27, 2019 at 11:00 am


Categories: Property News

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By Marc Trup, the Founder and CEO of Arthur Online 

Weather plays the biggest role in the amount of energy that gets used, and is one of the biggest impacts on energy bills. Bill-payers typically see their highest bills after the hottest and coldest months. 

If you are paying the bills for your property, conserving energy will drastically increase the potential for savings. You may also find that you will face fewer maintenance issues, since older appliances are more likely to act up. Even if it is your tenants who pay the energy bills, making eco-friendly improvements will increase the overall value of your property. There is now a huge move to become more energy efficient, so new upgrades make a property more attractive to potential buyers.  

There are many cost-efficient ways to improve your property’s carbon footprint during the wintry months. A good start would be to invest in low energy appliances. Energy star-qualified appliances use 10-50% less energy than their standard counterparts. With an Energy Star washing machine, you can also save up to 50% more water. Picking the right kitchen appliances can also have an impact. Kettles use a lot more electricity than you might expect; on average, it costs 2.5p to boil a kettle of water, so be sure to get the most energy efficient kettle you can find. Keeping your boiler serviced and upgrading it to a more efficient model every ten years will also reduce energy consumption. 

Those with a bigger budget could consider swapping wall radiators to underfloor heating, which is much more efficient. While traditional wall radiators need to reach temperatures of between 65-75°C to heat up an entire room, underfloor heating only needs to run at 29°C, conserving energy and keeping bills down. 

How can you Conserve Energy in your Property During the Colder Months?

A lot of energy is used when electrical devices aren’t even in use. According to the Clean Energy Associates (CEA), consumer electronics account for 13% of home energy use and can cost up to £145 a month by just being left to charged or on standby. There are several companies, such as Green Plug, that give devices the exact amount of power they need. Once fully charged, Green Plug automatically cuts the power, saving energy and money, and a worthwhile investment for the environmentally conscious. Using energy saving devices can help to reduce electricity consumption by 41%. For individual appliances, using a green plug with a bedroom TV could provide you with a saving of up to 53.6% and, for a lamp, you could save up to 40.2%!

Even your choice of furnishings can help with energy conservation. If you provide your tenants with furnishings, choosing curtains over blinds is good to keep the heat in when it’s colder. Similarly, placing rugs over wooden floors is another way of conserving heat and can save 4- 6% on energy bills. 

Switching to energy efficient windows is a good way of keeping your property warm in the winter. If your windows need replacing, consider fitting double or triple glazing. This will reduce heat loss through the glass. Making sure your roof is insulated is another simple thing you can do, which means that your tenants are spending less on heating. Uninsulated homes lose a quarter of their heat through the roof. 

While you may not be able to control how much electricity your tenants use, you can adopt some of the discussed measures to help conserve as much energy as possible, making your property more energy efficient and helping your tenants to save money on bills. One of the easiest ways to be more energy efficient is to replace your old halogen light bulbs with CFL or LED alternatives, which require a third less power to run. 

Similarly, carrying out simple maintenance works can help to reduce the gas and electric bills. Some of the smallest things can make a big difference. Make sure that you seal up any cracks around windows and doors to keep heat in. Even if you have invested in triple glazing, if there are cracks around the front door, heat will still be able to escape. It is also recommendable that you regularly clean HVAC filters. A HVAC unit that is cleaned every month will run a lot more efficiently. 

Marc Trup is the Founder and CEO of Arthur Online 

After selling his business to BUPA in 1998, Marc started investing in rental properties in London. Over the next 15 years Marc grew his portfolio to over 85 properties. While successful, self-managing his portfolio became increasingly difficult. With technological advances and greater connectivity, he assumed there was software available that would allow him to manage his business from his smart phone, while sipping espresso at the local coffee shop. Following a long search, he found that nothing quite cut the mustard. So being an entrepreneur, he started Arthur Online to make not only his life easier, but also that of other property managers. 

Arthur Onlineis a cloud-based platform that enables property managers to respond instantly and solve problems fast from anywhere in the world, be it with tenants, contractors, property owners or letting agents. Since launching in 2015, it has helped thousands of property managers like Marc run their portfolios in the cheapest, most efficient way possible by using the full potential of new technology and cloud computing. Start your free trial today by going to