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After the year we’ve all had what better way to bring some joy into your life by going all out for Christmas. Making your home festive and cosy can lift your spirits and add a little touch of sparkle to your world. On those dark winter days, there’s nothing cosier than being at home surrounded by a twinkling tree, the smells of Christmas and staying snug. 

If you’re in a rented property, there may be a few things you’ll need to consider before you turn your house into santa’s grotto. We’ve put together a few key things to consider when decorating your property so you keep your property in great condition and will still leave the walls and your deposit fully intact. 

Oh Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is without a doubt the star of the show. If you’re currently in an apartment and are lacking space, there’s some lovely potted trees you can get for smaller spaces with lights and decorations on them. You can get these from most supermarkets and garden centres. You could also jump on the branch decorating bandwagon, where you just decorate a branch? Either way, you don’t need an 8ft spruce to feel festive. 

If you prefer a real tree then measure the area first where it will be. Dragging a real tree in and stuffing into a tight corner can end up damaging the place, plus needles falling into the woodwork and scratching the floors. If you don’t want the hassle, you can get some lovely artificial trees dusted in snow that look lifelike. For minimum hassle have you seen the pop up artificial trees? Now that is a game changer! 

Garlands

If you have a fireplace, this is another place to make into a focal point. Place a garland on top of the fireplace with lights strung over it. If you want to add stockings, place some metal hooks into the garland to hang the stockings from without needing to hammer any nails into the fireplace. 

A beautiful garland trailing up the banister or over a door always looks very classic and stunning and helps to bring the festivities throughout the house. All you need to do is simply wrap them around the banister and rest on top of the edge of a door but if they do need to stay in place. You can easily add some pine cones, bows or lights to the garlands too and make a more inexpensive garland look more grand.

Scents

You can also feel Christmassy with different scents and this can add to the Christmas ambience. Check in your tenancy agreement to see if you can have candles before you have them planted throughout your house. To be on the safe side, you could place in the hallway winter potpourri full of cinnamon spices, dried fruit and berries to heighten the senses. You can even buy mulled wine and gingerbread room diffusers and air fresher too.  

Credit: Annie Spratt

Light up your life

At Christmas, sparkling fairy lights on the tree, fireplace and throughout your home is beautiful but they can also be a hazard and can cause fires due to overheating. Lights shouldn’t be left on for long periods of time and not overnight. It’s a good idea to look at getting some battery powered fairy lights. If you want to go all out and have outdoor lights too, you could also end up running a massive bill, so perhaps look at using a light projector instead. You can have snowflakes, santas and elves lighting up your home and giving it a festive feel. This can also be used indoors so consider something such as this rather than placing stickers on windows and leaving marks. 

Bring the outdoors in

Bring nature indoors and create some beautiful decorations . When you’re next out walking, keep an eye out for pinecones, holly and mistletoe. You could spray pine cones with gold spray and place in a decorative bowl as a cute coffee table centrepiece. Holly will also look lovely woven into a wreath or your garland too.

Be on Point-settia

With it’s red and green colour nothing says Christmas like a poinsettia. They instantly add a festive touch to a bookshelf, bedside table or hallway. 

Deck the walls 

Be careful about wall damage and ensure your decorations don’t leave marks. Avoid as much as possible nails, screws, paint, stickers and tape to hang up decorations. Command tape is a better way to hang up any decorations. If you want to display cards, rather than blu tacking them to the wall or doors, you could use a card holder or a hang ups christmas card holder which is a damage free way of displaying cards.  

A Cosy ho ho home

Christmas is all about feeling warm and fuzzy and there’s no simpler way to do this then making your home really cosy. Think faux fur throws, knitted cushions or chunky cashmere blankets sat on the armrest ready to wrap you up.

Get crafty 

It’s often the living room that gets all the Christmas love but it’s good to have a sprinkle of Christmas magic throughout the house. In the kitchen, you could use jars and vases in a new way and get creative. Fill them up with candy canes, gingerbread men and Christmas cookies. 

Credit: Debbie Hudson

The Main Event

On Christmas day, everyone will sit around the table so it can become a real festive centrepiece. Firstly, place a tablecloth or table runner on the table. It doesn’t matter if your table has gone beyond shabby chic, you can cover it up and add plenty of table decorations. Consider having a centerpiece on the table or at different ends of the table (depending on how big it is) such as some wreaths, stunning candle holders too with some Christmas candles in them. You could then cover your chairs with a range of different covers. The santa’s hat one is a fave! When it’s time to set the table, just a few little touches will make the difference – a festive napkin with a holder, Christmas crackers nestled in each place and of course, bring out the best festive cutlery and crockery. 

Credit:NeONbrand

We hope you’re feeling festive and your home is super cosy. Have a great Christmas! 

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve recently won two lucrative awards. We’ve won the Best Online Business at the Growing Business Awards and the Best Letting Agency in the Property Reporter Awards in association with NRLA. 

It was a tough category in the Growing Business Awards with companies such as Mindful Chef and Snag Tights as other finalists but we’re absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this prestigious accolade. It’s truly a testament to the tireless work of the Howsy team and has shown how far we’ve come. 

We’re continuing to grow and we’re all about shaking up the lettings industry and flipping the traditional estate agency model on its head. So therefore, getting an award such as Best Letting Agency in the Property Reporter Awards has really shown how we’re making real headway within the industry. To be recognised by such a prestigious awarding body is fantastic.

The judges for the Property Reporter Awards have said “Their desire to challenge the status quo with more efficient processes stood out” “Well ahead of their time” “Flexible, transparent & responsive” 

We’re truly on a mission to make renting better for everyone, so winning this award as Best Letting Agency is really special for us. For so long the lettings industry hasn’t been working for landlords and tenants and we’re dedicated to making it work for everyone. It’s great to be recognised as the Best Letting Agency.


With winter fast approaching, now is the time to think about doing some roof maintenance checks on your property to ensure your tenants keep warm and cosy over the colder months.  

It’s recommended that you carry out two inspections each year – in Spring and Autumn (before the snow sets in). This is so you can have time to check and see how the roof is doing and pre-empt any larger scale problems before they occur. Often damage can occur before it’s noticeable and before any mold or leaks occur. So doing some roof maintenance can ensure you’ve got this covered before waiting for something drastic to happen.

If your roof isn’t properly maintained, water can infiltrate into your attic, damage insulation, wood framing and structural steel. This can cause the design and look of the property to drastically change – so long curb appeal! 

Maintaining your roof and doing checks upfront acts as a way to prevent any larger scale roof emergencies, making the house safe for those living there. Ensuring your roof is in good condition will ultimately give you peace of mind and help to prevent the need for a full scale roof rebuild, saving costs in the long run. 

How to do roof maintenance checks 

Here are some of the ways you can carry out roof checks to make sure your roof stays in good condition. You can do these checks from the ground up or you can get up on a ladder and get in there and take a look. Just be careful not to lean your ladder on the guttering as you could break it. If you do get on the roof, do so only if you feel safe or you have the proper safety equipment such as an extension ladder, safety harness, 700kg breaking strain rope and soft shoes with grip. 

  1. Clean out gutters, as clogged gutters can cause rain and snow to not be able to drain properly. Clearing out a gutter is fairly easy and it’s just a case of removing leaves and moss. 
  2. Roof algae can cause your roof to age and cause black streaks which doesn’t exactly give your property curb appeal. If you see green, get it cleaned. 
  3. Trim your trees to prevent them overgrowing, resting or falling on the roof. Keep branches trimmed and remove from the gutter. 
  4. Pay attention to shingles. Look for any curling in a shingle, as that indicates moisture has made its way to its interior. A shingle with any damage should be replaced immediately to avoid leaks or further structural damage. 
  5. Check for any damaged roof tiles or ones that have slipped and are out of position. If they have slipped, you can pick them up and just re-adjust them, making sure all the tiles around are firmly placed down. 
  6. Check inside your home, if you see any damp on the ceilings or up the side of an internal wall, then it’s likely you have a problem with the roof. If you see daylight through the roof boards then you need a repair.
  7. Look for sagging. Your roof should follow a straight line along a ridge. If it doesn’t and it looks like there’s a dip this could be the result of too much weight on the roof from snow and this could result in the roof collapsing. 
  8. Flashing – check your roof for flashing damage. This is the material, usually made from aluminium around the chimney, skylights and roof vents which directs water away from critical areas of the roof. Look for any rust that may have appeared as this indicates there’s damage to the material. 
  9. Think about your energy bills. Are they higher than normal? This could be due to air leaking from the roof and the heat escaping. 
  10. Check for any cracked mortar or caulking around the joints and chimneys must be sealed.

Hopefully these checks will help to keep your roof in good condition and give you ultimate peace of mind you’ll have a secure and warm home over the colder months.