Preparing rental property for colder weather is important in order to prevent property damage and to improve tenant safety. There are a number of items to check and many things to do as the weather starts to turn cold. If you have a Bellevue property management company they will handle all of this for you and you shouldn’t have to worry about anything, except for the maintenance fees. Otherwise, consider creating a checklist of things to do around your apartments before the weather starts to get bad.
Clearing leaves is important, even if more are going to fall, because they can be a slipping hazard for walkers and tenants when it rains. Consider raking up leaves off of paths weekly in order to prevent slipping hazards when it rains. Leaves on lawns should be raked weekly as well for apartment buildings where the lawn is your problem. It is especially important to clear leaves out of gutters in order to prevent blockage and damage when it rains.
Whether you have an HVAC furnace or another form of heating, it is important to have it inspected before tenants start using their heating. Have a professional come in to check the furnace to ensure that it is in proper working condition and will not cause hazards such as fire or carbon dioxide buildup. You should also consider having filters and vents checked and changed if you have not done so within the past 6-12 months. If you’ve had a professional furnace inspection within 12 months then it may not be necessary to get another inspection, but make sure that you get at least one a year.
Check Drains and Pumps
Check any drainage areas to ensure that they are not broken or clogged. You should do this twice yearly, once in the spring, and once in the fall, to ensure that your homes are prepared in case of flooding. The closer you are to a river, creek, or water source, the more danger the home is in. However, if the home is in a low lying area, or below street level, the home is also at risk. Consider checking any drainage pumps as well to ensure that they have not clogged or been damaged over the summer months.
Do Regular Checkups
You can also consider checking up on downspouts, exterior pipes, and if you haven’t recently, the roof. Because wind damage to roofs is a big hazard during autumn months, it’s usually best to make sure that roofing is properly inspected and not likely to come loose during a storm. Regular checkups and maintenance are especially important during the autumn and winter when wind, rain, and snow are all against you.
While inspections and repairs cost money, they are considerably cheaper than paying for repairs on damage that could have been prevented by a little forethought. If you don’t have the time to handle all of the maintenance issues that might come up during the colder months, consider hiring a Bellevue property management company to handle the details for you.
The discussion herein is of a general nature only and is not to be construed as specific legal advice, which requires the establishment of an attorney-client relationship and fee agreement. SJA Property Management does not provide legal services.