Renting out property has its pros and cons around the clock, but unfortunately for landlords, the Holiday season at the end of December is one of the worst times to own investment property. Not only do the holidays spark a wave of burglaries as some attempt to steal potentially expensive gifts, but the season between Christmas and New Years is also one of the worst for in home fires thanks to lights, fireworks, candles, and fireplaces. Consider the following advice from professional Bellevue property management companies to prepare your units for the holidays.
Check With Your Insurance
You need insurance at any time of the year, but it’s a good time to go over your contracts or call your company to ensure that they cover liability and fire damage. You need them to cover you in case of an accidental slip and fall on ice, and in case one of your tenants accidentally burns the house down. Liability insurance is a little bit more expensive, but as a landlord, it is an essential.
Remind Tenants to Be Safe
Printing out flyers and slipping them into mailboxes is an inexpensive way to remind tenants to double check for fire safety when hanging lights and using candles or fireplaces, which can eventually save you money. You can take the time to remind them that they may want to insure their possessions in case of a burglary, remind them of emergency numbers that they may need throughout the season, and remind them of specific house rules (like no fireplace). Flyers are easy to design, and are great ways to remind tenants that they have responsibilities to.
Hire a Maintenance Team
If you make sure that your units are all up to date on fire safety, have the HVAC system inspected and tuned up if necessary, and hire a maintenance team to keep show and ice away from doors and sidewalks, then you will have considerably less to worry about. Inspection and maintenance is your job and your responsibility, so if anything goes wrong, it is your fault. Make sure that everything is up to date, and if possible, try to do it well before the two weeks before Christmas.
Stay on Call
The holiday season is also the start of several other incidences like cold snaps, which may cause pipes to freeze, break, or cause other plumbing or HVAC problems. Make sure that your tenants have your emergency phone number and that you, or your property management company, is prepared to answer it at any time.
Being a landlord is considerably more work around the holidays because not only are you more likely to be busy with your family and social life, but your tenants are more likely to need you. If you don’t have the time to keep up with everything, then hiring a Bellevue property management company to help you out and handle everything for you is the best way to go.