As a property owner, you’ve done all you can to prepare your rental homes for the change of seasons. Life goes on, however, and there’s no guarantee tenants won’t reattach hoses or leave sidewalks covered in snow and ice. Prepare a list of winter maintenance to remind your renters of, to protect your property and keep your tenants safe this winter.
Review Lease and Local Requirements
Cities and homeowner’s associations have rules about snow and ice removal. Find out the requirements where your rental properties are located. These may specify how many hours a resident must clear sidewalks before the city or HOA imposes a fine. Some may also prohibit using salt, and require alternative deicers. If the lease you use requires tenants to take care of snow and ice removal, remind them of the parameters they’re expected to meet.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Remind tenants to keep faucets trickling overnight if temperatures are expected to dip below 20 degrees. Another trick to avoid frozen pipes is to open under sink cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Your renters should remember to let you know if they’re planning to be out of town, so you can check on the property and make sure the heat is on and pipes aren’t at risk of bursting.
Ensure your renters know what to do in case of a power outage, frozen pipe, or roof leak. Be ready with your HVAC service in case the furnace or boiler fails. Provide updated emergency contact information and make sure tenants know where the main water shutoff valve is located.
Winter is prime time for rodents to try to take up residence in the warmth and comfort of your property. Remind tenants that part of winter maintenance is to alert you at the first sign of an infestation. Some insects also try to make it through the cold months by getting into walls and window frames. Tenants should stay alert for these problems and let you know right away.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
As a responsible property owner, you’ve tested the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home and change the batteries annually. Remind tenants to NEVER to disable these alarms—it could cost them their lives.
Excalibur Homes provides property management in Atlanta, Georgia. Real estate investors who own or who are considering buying a rental home in the metro Atlanta area can rely on Excalibur to provide expert property management services including maintenance, marketing, tenant screening, rent collection—and yes, even winterizing. Atlanta does experience snow and ice storms from time to time.