How You Can Prepare Income Properties For The Winter
Owning rental property is a great way to make an income from your investments, but they’re a little more hands-on than your stock portfolio. The winter can be tough on your home and that’s no different for rental properties. Freezing pipes, leaking roofs, broken furnaces, and expensive heating bills due to old windows and poor insulation can all wind up leaving you with expensive damage to repair or emergency calls to make.
If you’re a landlord, get ready for the winter with these essential winter maintenance tasks. Come spring, you’ll be thanking yourself for your foresight – and your tenants will too.
#1. Seal Windows and Doors
Take the time and effort to seal windows and doors and cut down on heat loss and drafts. Check window frames for deteriorating caulk, holes, or mould. Older windows can creep down over time, creating a gap through which air quickly travels. Older windows can be a major source of heat loss and send your heating bills skyrocketing.
When it comes to doors, you may want to add door sweeps to prevent air from pouring in from below. If you pay the heating bills for the building, this is a maintenance tip that will pay dividends all winter long.
#2. Come Up with a Snow Removal Plan
Whose responsibility is it to shovel the snow? That might depend on where you own property or what kind of building you own. In some cases, you might be responsible for snow removal, not only to avoid penalties from the city but also to protect yourself from any injury lawsuits. In most places, if you rent out a single-family property, you can make snow removal the responsibility of the tenant in the lease, but for multi-unit buildings, it’s up to yourself, a super-intendant, or a contractor.
#3. Check for Cracks
As the weather gets colder, the outside world tries to find its way in. Stop rodents, raccoons, and birds from getting into your building and causing damage or an infestation by checking the exterior for cracks and openings. Pay close attention to areas around pipes and near entrances.
#4. Get Furnace Maintenance
Make sure your furnace is in good condition before the snow starts to fall. Don’t assume that your tenants know what they’re doing when it comes to furnace maintenance that you might do regularly yourself, such as checking the breaker panel or changing the furnace filters.
Check out these tips for checking your furnace or, if you’re not sure exactly what you should be looking for, hire a professional. Schedule a time to call a furnace technician to do a full-service on your furnace. They can also check for things like cracks in your motor belt, check your gas supply, and clear your exhaust.
A broken furnace can be a crisis for your tenants and leave you with no choice but to call for emergency furnace repairs.
#5. Take a Look at the Trees
High winds, heavy snow, and ice storms can all cause a tree limb (or the entire tree) to come down and potentially damage your property. Inspect the trees near your building or hire a professional who can inspect, trim, or remove trees that pose a risk.
Keeping your rental property well maintained is better for your tenants and your pocket book.