Imagine a warm, cozy apartment or house, while watching the peaceful, snowy scenery through the window.
But then again, winter also means snow, rain, and wind. It means low temperatures that can ruin the cheerful spirit… especially if the cold and wet gets inside. For people who rent property, that’s the biggest nightmare. They are paying money for good living conditions and they are getting less than they deserve.
For a landlord, that means constant complaints.
You don’t want to get to that situation. As a landlord, you have a responsibility to prepare the rental property for the winter.
We’ll give you 11 tips on how to make the place safe and cozy.
Do the Basics
Even if you think your property is perfectly safe and prepared for the winter, you still have some work to do. These are the musts:
- Clean the chimney
- Put seasonal furniture and garden decorations away
- Turn off outdoor water faucets, since they may freeze
- Replace the furnace filter
- Clean the rain gutters
- Coat the wooden deck with a protective layer
Identify the Issues
You need to go throughout the property to see if there are any issues, such as heating problems, leaks, or drafty windows. If you don’t have tenants there at the moment, it’s wise to spend few days in the property, so you’ll really get a sense of the living conditions.
If the tenants already live there, just talk to them. Ask what problems they experience, so you can check and fix before the winter conditions cause damage.
Ask the Tenants to Do Their Part
Your tenants have to take care of the property, too.
You can’t go there on a daily basis to clean up leaves and snow. Snow removal is important, so make sure they will cover that part. If they don’t have the needed tools, provide a shovel, sand, and salt.
Provide a Winterization Guide
You want to inform the tenants really well about the dangers and needed maintenance. It’s best to do it in written.
Ken Olivier, a writer at AssignmentGeek, explains: “I’ve helped dozens of landlords to complete safety guides. The effects are great. Brief and clear safety tips are easy to understand. When you provide the reasoning behind them, the tenants understand why it’s important for them to stick to the guidelines.”
Protect the Property Against Freezing
When the temperatures drop to 32 degrees and below, you have to think about the pipes not freezing.
- There are few things to do:
- Insulate all exposed pipes
- Disconnect and drain the garden hoses
- Turn the sprinkler system off
Check the Roof
For this, you’ll need to go to the attic after or during a heavy rain. Take a flashlight to examine the entire ceiling. If there are any wet spots or water stains, you have a problem.
If you have no experience in fixing roofs, it’s best to schedule a maintenance service or a freelance contractor to do the work.
Inform the Tenants About Safe Decorations
Outside decorations are really fun.
But the wrong kind of extension cord, an overloaded electrical circuit, and faulty lights may cause electrical fires. The National Fire Protection Association informs that 38% of all home fire deaths and 30% of all home fires occur during the holiday season.
You want to inform your tenants about this!
Keep the Rodents Out!
Everyone wants to stay warm at winter. Mice and rats are no exception. That’s why you need to seal any openings that could invite them in.
Remind your tenants to take the trash out on a regular basis and keep the space clean and organized. They should seal and store the food away. Rodents are mostly after the food.
Winterize the Pool
If there’s an outdoor pool on the property, you’ll have a lot of work to do around it.
You’ll need winterizing chemicals, a cover, and other items that will prepare the pool for the winter. You have to be mindful about the filters; you’ll need to clean them really well. If all underground pipes are properly blown out and plugged, you don’t have to drain the pool.
Since this is a lot of work for someone who’s not experience in it, it’s best to hire a local pool maintenance service to do this for you.
Think About the Heat
If there are any cracks in doors and window frames, you’ll need to caulk them. It’s important not to let the freezing temperature disturb the warmth you’re trying to maintain inside.
The thermostats should be set to a minimum of 55 degrees. Your tenants must never leave portable heaters on when leaving the property or going to sleep. In addition, you should remind them not to use the oven to heat the space. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is real.
Make Sure the Trees Are Safe
Weak tree branches (or even weak trees!) impose great hazard during snowfall. The weight of the snow will cause them to fall. They can damage the tenant’s car or the property. They may even injure the tenants themselves.
You don’t want that, so cut those branches (or trees) off.
Is your rental property ready for the winter? If it’s not, you better start covering the above-listed points without any delays.
Author Bio: Alexandra Reay has been working as a journalist and editor in one of the finest Melbourne publishing agencies for 3 years. She is also a professional content writer who prefers to do research on the following topics – self-improvement, technology innovations, global education development etc. Feel free to contact her through Twitter.