Winter Equipment For Your Rental Properties

By Ashley Paskill on January 9, 2020

The change of seasons is inevitable. Whether you like it or not, winter will come, and if you are not prepared with the right equipment for your rentals, the weather can wreak havoc on your property and on your renters’ morale. Therefore, it is crucial that you have the proper equipment so that you can help your renters make it through the winter.

Image: Unsplash

Humidifiers

During the cold, winter months, your renters will likely have the windows closed to stay warm. However, this can cause moisture to build up within your apartment and can cause mold. Having humidifiers for your renters will help prevent this from occurring. Remind your renters that they have to empty their humidifier once it is full so that it can keep functioning properly. Also, tell your student renters to run the humidifier during the day while they are in class so that they are not bothered by the loud noise that the humidifiers make.

Functioning heaters

The cold weather can be brutal, especially if you live towards the north. You may have student renters who are not as used to cold weather as others, so it is important to have functioning heaters to help keep them warm. Make it a point to inspect the heaters before the season starts and clean the filters so that the heaters do not catch on fire.

Snow equipment

In many places, it snows during the winter months. Make sure you have snow shovels so that renters do not get snowed in. This is especially important for students who may not be able to use being snowed in as an excuse to miss class or a shift at work or their internship. If you know some of your renters are from places that do not get a lot of snow, teach them how to shovel.

With snow comes ice. In some cases, if a renter slips on ice while on your property, they can sue you. To prevent this from happening, make sure you have salt to help melt the ice. Put some down before any anticipated storm so that you can prepare for the storm and get a head start on the melting of the ice. Make sure you instruct your renters on the proper snow and ice removal to help prevent injury to them or pedestrians.

In some cases, a snowblower may be useful to have. However, it will not help in slushy snow. Snowblowers can be difficult to use, so you should only get one if you, a staff member, or a tenant is good at using engines and you have a dry and warm place to store it. Otherwise, it is better to either join a snowblower pool or stick to manual snow removal.

Image: Unsplash

Emergency kit

Before winter even thinks about knocking on your door, create a winter emergency kit for you and each of your tenants. This is especially important if you have student tenants who may not be prepared for how rough winter can get. The kit should include things such as shovels, fire extinguishers, flashlights, batteries, plastic sheeting, duct tape, and rock salt.

Functioning emergency detectors

Carbon monoxide leaks are common in winter since tenants keep their windows shut, especially in cold places. Heating units are likely to catch on fire if the filters have not been replaced this year. Since circulation within rental properties is at a minimum during winter months, it is crucial to make sure every smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector is working properly. Even it may be outlined in your lease agreement that making sure these alarms are up-to-date, it still is a good idea to ask if they need help, especially if they are students and have never done this before. Before winter comes, make it a point to walk through each of your apartments or rental properties so that you can ensure that these detectors are functioning. Also, be sure to change the batteries in each detector so they do not die.

Winterize your sprinkler system and pipes

If you have a sprinkler system on your property, it is important that you prepare them for the winter months to keep them from freezing and bursting. This can be done by draining the pipes of water. While this task may be simple, you may want to call a professional service, especially if you are busy.

Likewise, outdoor pipes and faucets that are exposed and non-insulated also have a chance of bursting. This is also true of hoses. Make sure the pipes are insulated. For hoses, detach and drain hoses and cover up spigots so they do not get damaged throughout the cold winter months.

While some winter maintenance may fall on your tenants per the lease agreement, it is still important that you make sure everything is in place to help your tenants out. At the very least, make sure your tenants have access to the proper equipment.

By Ashley Paskill

Uloop Writer
Temple

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