Without fail, winter is always a busy time for maintenance crews. If you're the landlord of multiple rental properties, you can expect quite a few phone calls from tenants because of weather-related issues. Do yourself a favor and perform some cold weather maintenance before it gets really bad. This way, you'll spend more time cozy and warm this winter.
Be sure to clean or change HVAC filters, as they are sure to be used heavily over the next few months. You should also check that any attics and crawl spaces are properly insulated and ventilated so that the properties receive efficient heat. Frozen pipes also become a major problem when the cold weather starts to hit. You can help to prevent this by adding insulation to any exposed pipes to keep the cold air from getting to them. Remember to shut off any exterior faucets as well.
Don't forget that factors on the exterior of the property can cause maintenance issues over the winter. Trim any trees or bushes that brush against the walls of the property. When they become filled with ice and snow, they could create problems for your tenants. You should also inspect the roof and any exterior vents for cracks and small openings. These cracks might allow for water or critters to make their way inside the home. Depending on who is responsible for snow removal, you may want to move any shovels or snow blowers to an easily accessible location.
Prepare your Tenants
Consider sending an email to all of your tenants reminding them to prepare for bad weather during the winter season. Talk to them about the importance of leaving the heat at a consistent temperature to prevent frozen pipes, or even allowing water to trickle overnight. Also provide emergency phone numbers and remind them to stock up on water, non-perishable food, and flashlights just in case they get snowed in or lose power. Landlords, follow this advice to spend less time venturing out into the snow!
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