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Leaving your property during the Winter Break

Here are our top 10 tips for keeping your property problem-free if you’re leaving you're heading elsewhere over the Winter Break!


As semester one draws to a close, we're sure most of you are excited about some much-needed downtime this Winter Break!

Before you leave your term-time address, take a moment to make sure you’re leaving your accommodation, house or flat in a safe and secure state! 

Here are our top 10 tips for keeping your property problem-free if you’re leaving you're heading elsewhere 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Go through your cupboards and throw out any out-of-date food and remember to take the rubbish out.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 equipment or game 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 to find out how.

7. Schedule the heating

Set the heating to come on a couple of times a day to prevent damp and frozen or burst pipes. As tempting as it might be to completely turn the heating off to save a bit of cash, remember it's a 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 of 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. 


Happy Holidays!