As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to keep your tenants safe and comfortable. Most leases are signed with this caveat in mind. As such, your tenants expect you to make the necessary updates as the seasons begin to change. Even though we’re still in the midst of a scorching summer, now is the best time to start thinking about preparing for the cold months ahead.
It’s tempting to wait until the last minute to update your properties, but procrastinating this project will do you no favors. Here are some of the top reasons why you should invest in repairs and updates sooner than later.
Why make those updates?
There are a few reasons why landlords should keep up on annual maintenance checks and upgrades within their properties. Here are some of the top reasons why investing in these updates will help you:
- Updates ensure your tenants’ comfort when it starts to get cold. Even if your tenants are equipped with warm and thick alpaca blankets that measure 50 N/ktex, not all of your renters will want to add on unnecessary layers. Fixing up your furnace and repairing drafty windows ensures comfort regardless of the temperature outside.
- Updates help you identify issues within your property sooner than later. The last thing a landlord wants is an emergency. If you’re making updates, you can identify problem areas before they get out of hand. Make the necessary repairs sooner in order to stop a burst from causing an emergency later.
- It’s a good excuse to check through all your building’s code requirements, as well. While few people want to go into the basement, repairing that furnace enables you to check out the washer and dryer, assess the fuse box, and identify other issues. Get two birds with one stone when you make these necessary upgrades.
- Updating old or outdated machinery can serve as an enticing draw for new tenants down the line.
Winter is going to come sooner than later. Ensure your buildings’ features are up to par before the cold makes these projects impossible.
What projects should I prioritize?
With winter swiftly approaching, there are a few projects that you should put at the top of your to-do list. Here are some of the most common fixes that landlords make at the end of summer:
- Check the furnace: Whether you control the temperature of the apartment or whether it’s up to your tenants, you’ll need to ensure your furnace is in working order. Before you test it, however, it’s essential that you get it properly cleaned. Even though furnaces are designed to last between 15 and 20 years, you should know that dust, dirt, and grime accumulates in the ductwork and machinery when it’s not in use. This could make your furnace break or even start a fire. Rely on a professional to service your furnace before winter comes.
- Inspect the plumbing: Now is the time that you’ll want to check for any leaks, rust, or other problems in your plumbing. Problematic plumbing is more likely to have issues when it comes to freezing during the winter. Check them out and make the necessary fixes in time.
- Monitor your roof: Your roof is one of the most important features on your property. Leaks and other water damage can lead to instability and mold growth, putting the health of your tenants at risk. When winter arrives, it can also make your property considerably colder. Not only will this drive up heating costs but it can also have adverse effects on the skin of your tenants. The cold is known to exacerbate issues with psoriasis, eczema, and even acne, which 50 million people deal with. If there was a draft last winter, it won’t magically disappear this winter. Get it taken care of.
- Watch for cracks in windows: Windows need to be replaced every 20 years or so, but even caulking windows with a new layer of adhesive can prevent the cold from getting in. Ensure your tenants are more comfortable this winter by preventing drafts and replacing windows where needed.
These are among the most common rental upgrades you can make this winter. Keep in mind that you will still have to answer your tenants’ questions as the seasons change.
Other ways to prepare for winter
Preparing for winter doesn’t just mean making upgrades to your property. It also means getting the necessary tools to cope with the snow when it finally arrives. As such, you should also invest in plenty of road salt and a local snow plow company for your parking lots. The Ohio state patrol explained that 379 crashes back in 2017 were because of impaired driving, but countless Americans get into accidents because of black ice and poorly plowed roads. If you’re new to property management, this should be one of the first things you do to prepare for winter.
You should also have adequate lighting to make up for the darker nights that winter brings. Install the proper lighting around parking lots, doorways, and entrances to encourage safety in your community.
Being a landlord isn’t all fun and games; when the seasons change, you’ll have to put in a lot of work to ensure the safety and comfort of your tenants are preserved. Rely on these tips to get a head start.