In this special, festive edition of AskTDS, we help tenants to make sure their Christmas isn’t ruined by preparing properties for void periods. 

Merry Christmas…make it a happy time!

The festive season is now upon us and for many tenants, it means a few days away visiting family and friends to celebrate. To make sure the yuletide joy extends to your return, there are some steps you can take to make sure your rented property is ready for the winter weather.

Keep heating on the back burner

The cold weather can wreak havoc with heating systems; with frozen pipes leading to bursts and other expensive issues, it’s best as ever to be properly prepared. There are simple things that can be done to help avoid some problems. For instance, setting the heating thermostat to come on at regular intervals to keep the property warm, or if you are away for a long time, draining the heating system down may be appropriate.

Always refer to your tenancy agreement and consult with your landlord or letting agent who will be best placed to advise you on the level of heating required to avoid any issues when you are away.

Air out the place 

Condensation can become commonplace during winter as people often want to keep heat in and fail to open windows to ventilate their homes. No change of air can lead to lead to mould or damp patches, so it’s important to let the moist air out and the fresh air in to keep away some unwelcome growth.

Don’t forget the outdoors 

Gardens should be checked for overhanging branches that could blow off in high winds and damage guttering, roofs or windows as well as becoming a hazard in the event of heavy snow. Report any issues to your landlord if you are concerned.


Not all responsibilities are the tenants’ to bear, but if your rented home has a fireplace or chimney, you should ensure you have agreed with your landlord who is responsible for taking care of this and how this should be maintained – see our previous #AskTDS.

Maintaining your property regularly and not just in the winter months is essential to a successful tenancy. If you see any problems in your property, you should notify your landlord or letting agent, and keep a record of this, so they can be dealt with to make sure your home is safe and protected.

About TDS

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a Government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.

We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.

TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.

TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.

TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.

TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland’s leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.

TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.

These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.

ARLA|Propertymark: For agents who would like to stay up to date, you can contact Propertymark | ARLA at: By being a member of Propertymark | ARLA you will be eligible for TDS Insured best headline rates.

RLA: If you are a landlord and would like to keep up to date with any changes that may affect you or your responsibilities, you can contact the RLA at: and quote reference: dg715 to receive 25% off your first year’s membership.

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