4 ways to keep your rental warmer and drier this winter

Nice Place Winter Property management

Brrrrr! It’s cold outside – we’re all being treated to a classic New Zealand winter. It’s blisteringly cold, never ending rain, snow fall and stormy winds. You might not escape it when you’re outside but when you’re home it’d be nice to snuggle up and be warm and dry without it hitting the pocket too hard.

Nice Place have collected some of the most effective ideas for keeping your rental home warmer as a tenant, and how as landlords you can add value to your property by making some very affordable additions.

1.       Curtains

Opening your curtains during the day lets heat in. Use the sunlight to heat your home, and before it gets dark, shut them to keep that heat in.

Curtains, especially thermal lined, act as another form of insulation – retain the heat by closing them when you just lose sunlight. If you’re a tenant, and your curtains aren’t thermal lined, ask your landlords permission to replace them yourself, or even ask for them to be added.

As a landlord, thermal lined curtains are a great addition to your property. Having quality curtains has a large impact on protecting your investment, as they protect the property from cold, moist air coming in and creating mould.

2.       Windows

Ventilation make a big difference, so open your windows every day possible. We know it doesn’t make sense on the days where it buckets down, but on cold days you should still be cracking them open for 15 minutes or more every day, just to air out and ventilate the house. Making the house dry will make it easier to retain heat. Make sure you close the windows before you leave the house, security is just as important as ventilation.

Open the window when cooking, or having a bath/shower to let out the steam. Wet areas encourage mould. If you have an extractor fan, put this to use when cooking.

Wipe off condensation from your windows too. Use an old towel, or shower scraper to collect all the excess water.

3.       Draughts

Make your own draught stopper to use on windows and doors. Reduce the amount of cold air entering your home by either purchasing or making your own one. Rolling up an old towel and securing it with elastic bands works great. Just push it up against the bottom of the door or along the windowsill. Make sure you wash and replace these often, as you don’t want to encourage bacteria from cold/moist air to grow.

Ensure the window hinges, catches and latches are tight and secure. If they aren’t – let us (or your property manager) know as soon as it happens so we can have them replaced. You don’t want any heat to escape, or any cold to enter.

Check out these 20 ideas using things around the house.



4.       Mould

If you aren’t actively cleaning mould, at least once a week, it can make a for an unhealthy place to live and it’s something you can combat through regular attention.

Prevention is better than cure, and ventilation will reduce the amount of mould you’ll get, but when it does come to removing mould, you don’t need any fancy products to get the job done.


Washing off mold

To remove mould, either use a bleach solution or white vinegar. Use a clean cloth or old toothbrush to scrub off the mould, and remove with another cloth or sponge and warm soapy water. Rinse the cloth/sponge to prevent the mould spreading. For a full run down on how to remove mould, have a look at this toolkit from the Ministry of Health.

As a tenant, if you have regular issues with mould, bring it up with your property manager.

Mould is a key issue we look for during inspections and with our 15 combined years of experience, we know where to look.

If you’re blasting your heater without doing any of these things, then you’re throwing away your money. So, stay warmer, drier and healthier this winter by using a few of these simple and affordable ideas, while also reducing your power bill.

Reminder on insulation

Since 1 July 2016 landlords have been required to disclose on new tenancy agreements whether there is insulation in the rental property including where it is and what type of condition it is in, so that as a tenant you can make an informed decision.

From 1 July 2019 ceiling and underfloor insulation will be required in all rental homes where it is reasonably practical to install. 

Nick Phillips