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For landlords and property managers, one of their biggest responsibilities is making great living space for their tenants and keeping it maintained during the winter. It can get really messy once the snow falls on the ground. If you’re a landlord or property manager in need of help this winter, we have some helpful tips to winterize your property for the season. With this advice, you can ensure a positive reputation among your tenants.
Mareka is a property management company that assists landlords with condo management services and commercial properties. Our wonderful team can help you optimize your winterization processes around your property to ensure the building is safe during snowfall. We’ll help you achieve this by going over the steps of winterizing your rental property, detailing the landlord’s responsibility for maintenance, and how often they should provide it during the winter.
Many landlords and property managers may ask: how can I prepare my property or apartment for winter? Well, there are several ways they can accomplish this.
The first piece of advice we recommend is keeping the heat on. Even if your tenants will be away, it’s important to leave the heat on at a reasonable temperature (around slightly above 10 degrees Celsius) to keep things warm. This helps prevent pipes from freezing over if they aren’t well insulated. Although the utility price may be a little higher, it’s better than having to completely replace the pipes altogether.
Make sure to check for cracks in and around different areas and corners. To keep your HVAC system working properly, check around windows and doors for leaks of cold air and moisture. Apply interior seals on them and insulate other areas of your property to keep warm air in. Additionally, caulk any holes or cracks near pipes to keep cold air out and prevent them from freezing.
Another part of winterizing your property is by doing some yard work. If you have trees and shrubs around your property, have someone trim and cut them back. This is done to avoid wind and ice from making the tree or shrub limbs from damaging the roof or exterior and inspect tree sand shrubs for dead limbs and cut them off before it becomes a problem.
With that said, it wouldn’t hurt to prep the rest of the landscape for winter. Give the grass one final cut before the frost appears, allowing it to grow stronger come springtime. Rake up and remove any dead leaves and debris as well to promote the landscape’s overall health. If your property has gutters, clear them up as well to remove excess water and grime.
Lastly, make sure you check your detectors to make sure they’re all working properly. Winter is the perfect time to check that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are functional. This ensures the safety of your tenants and protection within your property. If you own an apartment or condo, each floor should have a number of alarms set to activate. Check your local code guidelines to ensure you’re compliant.
The landlord is responsible for inspecting their property to prepare for winter. You should have a checklist of things to do and evaluate for the benefit of your tenants. Utilities such as pipes, boilers, and furnaces should be inspected and maintained to protect your building from the cold. If your property has roofs or ceilings with cracks or leaks, have someone provide repairs on those as well. By being thorough, you avoid bigger issues down the road.
A landlord should also monitor the property’s exterior. Check on walkways and entrances to make sure they’re clear of snow and ice and stock up on shovels and salt. Ice can be a serious hazard for your tenants and you want to prevent them from slipping, tripping, or falling. To reduce legal liability, ensure ice is melted off and snow is cleared in areas such as the parking lot and sidewalk.
Speaking of snow, an important part of property maintenance is preparing for snow removal. While some properties allow tenants to clear the snow themselves, in apartments and condos, a snow removal service can get that job done. They can be hard to secure a contract with, but the sooner you do it, the better. They’ll be ready to clean snow up when winter makes its debut.
Lastly, you may also want to consider updating your staff’s training for the winter. Review important procedures and policies for your property. Ensure that they know what to do and who to call in the case of a massive snowstorm, power outage, or ice storm. Additionally, provide them with enough resources and contact information in case immediate help isn’t possible.
So how often should a landlord provide maintenance for their tenants during winter? As we’ve described, they should be on alert from the first snowfall. Winter can be unpredictable, but winterizing your property can help you be proactive to avoid larger issues in the future. Landlords and property managers should be actively protecting their buildings from the harsh winter cold. By doing so, you’ll make your job easier and give your tenants more peace of mind.
Rely on Mareka Properties now and learn more about us by exploring how we assist in building property management and administration.