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2020 has been an unexpected year in so many ways, and we’ve all had to adjust to new ways of living – and with Christmas on the horizon, we’re likely to have to make some changes to our festive celebrations too. If you’re a landlord, your usual Christmas routine may need to be a bit different this year – here are 4 key ways Christmas may be different for you, and how to deal with them.

1. Safety hazards at home

We’re all aware of the safety hazards that come along with Christmas – candles and fairy lights can start fires, people can have more accidents and hurt themselves or damage furniture, appliances can break from heavy use – but if your tenants usually go away for Christmas, these may not be problems you usually have to deal with. This year, however, many more people are likely to be staying at home, so there’s a greater chance of accidents happening in your property. If your tenants are staying put this Christmas, it’s a good idea to send them a friendly email reminding them of the hazards of the Christmas period, and giving them some contact numbers in case of an emergency.

2. Fewer empty properties

The flipside of your tenants staying at home is that your property is much less likely to be empty this winter. This brings all sorts of benefits – the property will be heated more consistently, so there’s less chance of the pipes freezing, and tenants staying indoors a lot more will reduce the risk of break-ins. Although it’s still a good idea to remind your tenants to regularly turn on the heating and keep expensive presents out of sight, it will be reassuring to know that your property probably won’t be left unattended for a long time this Christmas.

3. Suspension on evictions

In response to the pandemic, the government has suspended evictions during the Christmas period. This means that bailiffs will not be able to enforce evictions until 25th January 2021, and no eviction notices will be served until 11th January 2021. Of course, evicting a tenant is a very serious matter and a last resort for landlords, and so some exceptions will still be allowed in very serious circumstances. Check out the government website to find out more.

4. No spontaneous visits

If you like to visit your tenants in the lead-up to Christmas to give them a gift and see how they’re doing, that will be more difficult to do this year – you will have to check ahead of time if any of your tenants are self-isolating or shielding, and check your local restrictions to see if a socially distanced, outdoor visit is allowed. But even if you can’t pop over in person, you can still show your tenants you’re thinking of them by sending a gift or a card. Small tokens like this will be even more appreciated this year, as we all have to deal with an unusually difficult festive season.

If you’re a landlord in Bristol with a property to let, Gough Quarters can help you find the perfect tenants. Contact us today to find out more.

Cover photo by Erica Marsland Huynh on Unsplash.

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