Tenant Touch-Base: Prepping Your Property for Colder Weather

By Shannon Slattery

We’re still enjoying the warm summer temps, so cold weather may seem like an eon

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away… but it’ll be here before you know it. That’s why it’s great to create a winterization checklist in advance so your renters know how to protect their belongings and, more importantly, your property from potential damage and unexpected expenses when the cold weather rolls in.

Here are some topics you might consider addressing in your winterization checklist:

*Don’t get hosed. Tenants who leave their garden hose attached to the spigot during cold months run the chance of damaging the hose coupling or potentially having the hose crack. The interior water lines could also freeze and burst in the event the spout leaks or isn’t completely turned off. Ask residents to remove their hoses’and check to make sure the faucet is shut off tightly’before the first frost.

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*Warm up! Make sure your tenants know the temperature indoors should never go below 50 degrees. This will help prevent water pipes from freezing and bursting. Communicate the steps they should take to shutoff water lines in case of an emergency and what to do in the event a pipe freezes or bursts.

*Eight degrees for eight hours. Residents who work away from home may want to consider dropping the thermostat 8 degrees before heading out each day, to conserve energy and lower heating bills by as much as 8.2%.

*Inspect for leaks. Ask your tenants to inspect the caulking around outside windows and the weather stripping around door frames, as faulty seals could allow cold air to seep in. Have them search their property for water leaking from pipes, hot water heaters, roof lines, and ceilings’immediately alerting you if they find anything that looks suspect. You’ll want to repair those issues before any cold weather hits in the case heavy snow or expanding ice might amplify the damage.

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*Cause for alarm. Remind your tenants to test their smoke alarms and replace batteries at least once a year. Fires tend to be more prevalent in the winter, thanks to fireplaces and Christmas trees, so it’s important to have smoke alarms in good working order.

Giving your tenants a winterization checklist is a great way to open the lines of communication for how to prevent and handle repairs… potentially heading-off any costly disasters before they strike.