Mt. Bachelor Property Management Blog

3 Tips for Winterizing Your Rental Property

Lisa Berg - Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Leading property management company in Bend, OR, Mt. Bachelor Property Management, offers 3 important tips and a checklist for winterizing your rental property.

Winter season is coming and that means it is time to start preparing your rental home for the dip in temperatures in colder months. While this isn’t a complete list, our team at Mt. Bachelor Property Management Company has put together several items to handle before that first super cold night happens here in Bend when winter hits. Here are a few great tips for winterizing your rental property during winter months.

1. Start by Communicating with Your Tenant

Of course, the first thing you really need to do is communicate with your tenant about your expectations for winterizing the residence. Be clear about what tasks you expect them to handle and why they are important.

It’s extremely important to remember that tenants are not property owners. In fact, most have never owned a home and have no idea of the harmful things that can happen if certain steps aren’t taken before cold weather.

Instead, opt to give them a checklist with an understanding that you have certain guidelines that they need to follow. Explain that if they do not take the necessary steps and there ends up being damage, that you could charge them for it in the end.

2. Basic Home Winterization Checklist

So, now that you know you need to have this conversation with your tenant, what exactly should you ask them to do? Here are a few ideas that are on every home winterization checklist, even if you don’t live on the property yourself.

  • Outdoor Faucets and Drain Pipes: Check for leaks in pipes and turn them off. Remove hoses and store them in a garage or shed for the season. Add faucet covers where applicable. This will prevent issues such as burst pipes in freezing temperatures, water damage, and costly repairs.
  • Clean Gutters: Failure to fully clean out pine needles and leaves out of the gutters can lead to ice damming, which can create roof problems and leaks when precipitation melts. It is important that homeowners pay for this expense as it is a liability to have a tenant on a tall ladder. 
  • Insulate Windows and Doors: This is likely one that they can check on their own, but any major issues should be handled by the landlord directly. This can help prevent heat loss and keep warm air in and cold air out when there are low temperatures outside.
  • Changing the Furnace Filter: As the landlord, you should provide the first clean filter. But the tenant should be able to swap this out on their own without additional help to maintain the heating system.
  • Clean the Chimney: You’ll want to hire a professional to do this if the fireplace is wood burning. If it utilizes gas logs, have it checked every few years to reduce the possibility of a leak or other issue.
  • Water Shut Off Valve: Know where the emergency water shut off valve is for the home. Newer homes often have this in the garage. In older homes it is often found at the street. It is important to make sure the tenant has the right tools to get it turned off in an emergency with water pipes or plumbing systems. 

3. Holiday Decorations and Tenants

When you’re having that conversation about winterization, it is also a good idea to discuss any expectations you have for holiday decorations. Some tenants feel they’re being festive and put up lights, only to use staples directly into siding or fascia that can cause damage.

Instead, have a friendly discussion about their plans for any holiday decor and remind them about certain pitfalls to avoid. Again, they might have never owned a home and probably wouldn’t think twice about any accidental damage caused.

Your Trusted Bend, OR Property Management Company

As a landlord, there are likely times when you need a little extra help managing your rental property. That’s okay! Our team here at Mt. Bachelor Property Management is here to assist. Please contact us today for details.

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