The first term has been hard and now that the lockdown has been lifted, we're sure most of you are excited about some much needed down time this Winter Break! Before you leave Leeds to join your family's bubble or travel within the UK, take a moment to make sure you’re leaving your accommodation, house or flat in a safe and secure state.
Please see the following top 10 tips for keeping your property problem free if you’re leaving your property over the Winter Break 👇
1. Empty your fridge
Go through your cupboards and throw out any out of date food and remember to take the rubbish out. The last thing you want to come back to in January is a mouldy fridge and a smelly kitchen!
2. Tidy up
As above it might be worth ensuring that your home is tidy before leaving for a few weeks, and don't forget to clear your garden of any rubbish. Do you really want to come back to a mess after the break?
3. Try and make your house look occupied
Put washed up dishes away and clothes airers out of sight, and leave your curtains and blinds open. Install a few lights on timer switches to come on in the evening (but don’t use timers on table lamps that can be seen through a window as this might be a bit of a giveaway).
4. Make sure you take any valuables with you
Try not to leave any valuables in your accommodation over the winter break. If you leave precious jewellery, expensive equipments or games consoles behind, make sure that you store them securely or hide them out of sight.
5. Switch off and unplug
Make sure that all appliances are either unplugged or turned off at the wall to save electricity (apart from the fridge/freezer of course!).
6. Speak to your landlord
Some landlords will expect you to turn off the water supply if you are away for more than a certain period of time. If you do not know how to do this contact your landlord.
7. Schedule the heating
Set the heating to come on a couple of times a day to prevent freezing and burst pipes. As tempting as it might be to completely turn the heating off – remember it is very cold time of year and you don’t want to return to find your stuff has been damaged by a flood or leak, or damp caused by the heating not being on.
8. Let someone know
Tell your landlord or letting agent the dates that the property will be empty and request that they check up on it. Alternatively ask a trusted friend or neighbour to keep an eye on the place while you’re away.
9. Avoid publicising your absence
Be careful about how much you post on social media about your absence – you can never be too sure about who is seeing your posts.
10. Double or triple check!
Do a final walk through of the property before you leave to make sure that you have unplugged all non-essential electrical devices and have locked all of the doors and windows (as well as making sure you haven’t forgotten anything!). We suggest putting a list together and checking all the boxes during your walk through.
Find more information about how to secure your home on the West Yorkshire Police website and the Neighbourhood Watch website. You can also join the Headingley Ash Road Area - Neighbourhood Watch Facebook group to stay connected with your community.