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Winter Wonderland: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Rental Property for Winter

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Primary Blog/Winter Wonderland: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Rental Property for Winter

As the winter chill starts to settle in, it's time to turn our attention to preparing our rental properties for the cold months ahead.

Winterizing a rental property is a crucial step in ensuring the comfort and safety of your tenants, as well as protecting your investment from costly repairs.

In this blog post, we'll explore five essential tasks to help you get your rental property ready for winter.

Here’s a quick summary of everything you’ll learn in this article:

  • Stop your furnace from having a meltdown on the coldest day of the year
  • A maintenance process that will cost you less to do than the repairs from a neglected rental property
  • ​Planning for snow and ice removal to protect yourself from potential lawsuits

Read on for the whole story and ensure your rental property is ready for the winter weather!

1. Inspect and service the furnace

Ah, the dreaded furnace.

Why does it always seem to choose the coldest day of the year to have a meltdown on us?

That's why it's important to inspect and service the furnace before winter sets in.

Start by replacing the furnace filter to ensure optimal airflow and efficiency.

Consider hiring a professional to perform a thorough inspection and tune-up to catch any potential issues before they become major headaches.

Trust me, you don't want that 3:00 AM wake-up call from one of your tenants telling you they have no heat.

2. Clean gutters and downspouts

It's easy to overlook the importance of clean gutters and downspouts, but they play a crucial role in preventing ice dams and icicles from forming.

Clogged gutters can lead to water seeping into the property, causing damage to the roof, walls, and foundation.

Take the time to clear out any debris and ensure proper drainage to keep your rental property in tip-top shape throughout the winter.

3. Check the seals around doors and windows

Drafty doors and windows can lead to skyrocketing heating bills and uncomfortable living conditions for your tenants.

Inspect the seals around doors and windows for any signs of wear and tear, and replace or repair them as needed.

A little bit of maintenance now can go a long way in keeping the cold air out and the warm air in.

And if you're seeing condensation between the panes of glass, that's the sign of a window that's lost its seal and is in need of repair, or more likely, replacement.

4. Shut off and drain exterior hose bibs

One of the most common winter woes for rental properties is frozen and burst pipes.

To avoid this nightmare scenario, it's crucial to shut off and drain exterior hose bibs before the temperatures plummet.

Neglecting this simple task could result in costly water damage and a major headache for both you and your tenants.

5. Prepare for snow and ice removal

While snow and ice can create a picturesque winter wonderland, they can also pose significant safety hazards for your tenants.

Have a plan in place for snow and ice removal, whether that means hiring a maintenance company, taking on the task yourself, or establishing expectations for your tenants.

Ensure that stairs and walkways are promptly cleared and salted to minimize the risk of slip and falls.

The last thing you want is a costly lawsuit on your hands.

What else can you do?

If you're responsible for paying the utilities (not your tenants), invest in a Smart thermostat to monitor the temperature and regulate it to reduce energy consumption.

Also, consider the landscaping around your property and trim any overhanging tree branches that could pose a risk during winter storms.

Finally, it's a good idea to communicate with your tenants about winter maintenance expectations and responsibilities. For example, reporting problems right away before they can turn into costly repairs.

What else would you add to this list that we didn't cover?

You may have already picked up a few lessons during your time as a landlord that you can help others in winterizing their rentals.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Preparing your rental property for winter doesn't have to be a daunting task.

With a little bit of planning and proactive maintenance, you can ensure that your investment remains in top-notch condition and that your tenants stay comfortable throughout the chilly season.

Now that we've covered the essential tasks for winterizing your rental property, it's time to hear from you, the reader.

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​Bestselling Author, Real Estate Investor, and Entrepreneur

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