Securing Your Property Over Christmas

With only a few weeks to go until Christmas, and with the first signs of snow appearing to the north of the UK, now is the time to consider your obligations as a tenant when it comes to taking care of your rental property if you are planning on going away during this period.

There are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure there are no unwanted surprises when you return to your rental property after leaving it for a prolonged period during cold weather:

1. Check your Tenancy Agreement

It is worth re-reading your Tenancy Agreement to confirm exactly what you are responsible for during cold weather, and, when leaving the property vacant.

For example, your Agreement is likely to state that you need to “take all reasonable precautions” to prevent damage by frost to pipes, to prevent the build up of condensation, and to keep gutters and drains free from obstruction.

It is also usual for the Agreement to state that you will need to notify the landlord/agent before leaving the premises vacant for any continuous period of 28 days or more during the Tenancy. Consequently, if you are planning to be away for a number of weeks over the festive season, it is important you check your specific obligations within your own tenancy contract.

2. Prepare the property well

A lot of problems can be prevented by simple preparations before you leave. For example, turning off electrical devices at the wall can prevent possible electrical fires, and, emptying fridges and freezers before your departure can prevent the growth of some of the more nasty bacteria that could make you and your family rather ill! It is worth walking around the inside and outside of the property and dealing with anything that might lead to a problem – look in particular for leaks/damp patches, a buildup of leaves in gutters, loose wires, dripping taps, etc.

3. Leave contact details with a neighbour

If you know and trust a neighbour, it would be worth leaving a spare key and your contact details with them, and asking them to keep an eye on the property whilst you are away. Another option might be to leave your contact number with the property’s managing agent or landlord. If something does happen, at least you should then hear about it straight away and be able to take the necessary measures to sort the problem out efficiently.

If your road is part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, it is worth joining it, and informing your neighbourhood contact that you will be going away. Details about the scheme and a vast amount of useful information about securing your home from burglary can be found at

4. Keep heating on or drain the system

If it is possible, and suitable for your property, it would be wise to keep the heating on at a low level whilst you are away. By keeping the heating on, the pipes won’t be able to freeze and any damp should be minimised. If you have a loft, keeping the hatch open a small amount will allow the warmer air to circulate around the tank.

If you are unable to leave the heating on, it could be advisable to employ a qualified tradesman to turn your water off and drain the system completely.

5. Secure the property

Before you leave, ensure all windows and doors are closed securely, and locked where possible. Timer switches can be a good idea when used with a light or radio, as they can give the impression that people are in the property and help to deter opportunist thieves. If there is a burglar alarm, ensure it is set correctly on your departure. Leave a contact telephone number discretely next to the alarm keypad – that way, if there is a break-in, the police will be able to contact you immediately to inform you.

Further tips to secure your property can be found at the Crimestoppers website (

If your Tenancy Agreement was arranged by TRC and you have specific questions about your own agreement in regards to this issue, please do get in contact.

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support families moving to the UK. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email

How Relocation Specialists Can Save You Money

The services provided during an employee relocation can make or break an assignment. Accordingly, it is crucially important that the employee and their family receive the right level of support and counselling before, during the move, and also at their final destination.

Too often, international assignments fail, and evidence shows that the financial cost to the company can be as much as 2½ times the annual salary cost of the employee. Not only that, a failed assignment can lead to employees refusing future international transfers, create family relationship problems, and possibly result in them leaving the company prematurely. Many large international companies provide full relocation support to assist their employees throughout a company transfer. Even if a full relocation package is not provided, it can still be worth seeking professional support for at least some parts of the process. Whilst it may seem cheaper and more expedient to handle an international relocation in-house, it can result in a very stressful and complicated process for the employee, as well as the in-house corporate function. For example, obtaining work visas can be extremely complex, varying from country to country, and from individual to individual; the various tax systems can be difficult to comprehend for the average lay person; and tenancy law is a potential minefield, with mistakes leading to costly and stressful circumstances for the employee.

Outsourcing can often be the most effective and cost efficient option. Destination Service Providers (DSP’s) are experts in their field, so clients can be confident that their transferees are supported appropriately at every step of the way. By outsourcing, companies will not need to employ and train staff in this discipline, saving both time and resource. Outsourcing can also
enable companies to identify and track assignment costs more easily, and reporting processes will be more defined. From the employee’s perspective, outsourcing provides additional benefits. The objectivity and independent advice provided by relocation consultants can be invaluable for their decision-making process, and the reassurance of having someone available locally to look after their interests can give valuable emotional support.

Relocation professionals take away a great deal of the strain at a time when someone is leaving their home country for a new position overseas, whether alone, or with their family. Most overseas locations are diverse, with desirable and less favourable areas, sub-standard and excellent schools, and so on. Having trusted, confident support at the new destination can be invaluable for helping a family to settle into a home that is ‘right’ in all respects. Relocation professionals manage the process of relocation to ensure a smooth move – this can include a variety of tasks such as securing temporary accommodation, sourcing a rental property, drawing up Tenancy Agreements, finding school places for children, negotiating removals or furniture rental quotes, arranging necessary documents, and, booking language/cross cultural training.

The Relocation Consultancy Limited (TRC) is an independent relocation specialist providing UK-wide coverage at a local level. Our consultants are selected for their excellent knowledge of local areas, and their close relationships with letting agents and schools. Because they live in the area themselves, they know far more about the area than can be obtained by ‘Google-ing’! They also deal with expatriates every day and so have a vast knowledge of the concerns and issues they might face.