Our philosophy includes the doctrine that states that landlords and tenants should get along to make a successful case. To make that happen, we recommend you paying more attention to the needs of your renter. One of the basic needs of an average tenant in the rental apartment is how your apartment gets through the winter.
Unfortunately, some landlords tend to think that it’s solely the problem of the tenant. We disagree and want to show you how you can improve the stay of your renter and improve your relationship by simply putting a little effort into it.
Winter is coming, and we’re not talking about the Game of Thrones. It is that time of the year when you still have time to check all the systems and prepare yourself for the colds. We hope you’ve already taken care of your own apartment or house. Now it’s time to help your tenant and take care of your rental apartment together.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
This may not be the most obvious one, but we genuinely believe that it’s crucial to prepare the emergency kit or refresh the one in the apartment you manage. Don’t get us wrong; we don’t suggest you buying everything for the package. Just make sure you educate your tenant on the necessity of the emergency kit, help him out with the essentials, or split the cost of the emergency kit.
An average kit that your tenant will be able to use during the black-out or storm should include:
Chargers for your smartphone and laptop
A power bank
We hope you take it seriously, especially if the rental property that you manage is located in the area with occasional storms.
Service the Heating System While It’s Not Too Late
This is the last warning and the perfect moment to do everything right. Service the heating system, inspect it, and make necessary adjustments. This is the key element of your rental property when it comes to getting through the winter.
Basically, according to the state laws in the US, having problems with the heating system may become a reason for a lawsuit or withholding of your rent payments. It’s really up to you to take this issue seriously and avoid any possible problems with the law and your tenant.
Locate All Air Leaks Near Your Windows
One of the key problems with the heat exchange that your rental property may have is having the air leaks in the windows. To avoid this problem, you just need to inspect them while it’s not so cold, and you can easily open them for inspection.
We recommend you hiring professional to fix your windows if you actually find an air leak, it won’t cost much, and you can split this with your tenant if you find common ground in this question.
Don’t forget that making your rental habitable and comfortable to live in is the key to a long-term relationship with your current tenant. It’s not like you rent out a place and forget about it, you’ve got to help your tenant with the maintenance and preparations for the seasonal changes.
Switch the Ceiling Fans to Reverse
We won’t talk much about this, it’s quite obvious. However, we decided to include this to your cheat sheet of fundamentals that you need to take care of.
For those not knowing: simply use the switch to put your ceiling fans to reverse. This way, the air will go up, not down, and the rental residents will not feel the cold circulating in the room.
Inspect Walls for Holes And Cracks
This is more relative for those managing a house, not a rental apartment. Sometimes while you may think that your rental house is perfect, you may not notice tiny little holes or cracks that leak cold air into your home.
You can check your walls yourself or call for the inspector to do that. This will be handy for those not understanding why everything is closed, yet the cold air is coming from somewhere. You’ll be surprised how tiny can the cracks be, it’s just a matter of time for you to notice them, so be attentive and review every room carefully.
Install Draft Stoppers to Prevent Cold Air from Coming in
Regular door is a disaster when it comes to air leaks. Without the draft stoppers, your tenant will feel like he’s sleeping outside. Make sure you install them, they do not really cost much, yet they do their job perfectly.
Try Smart Thermostat to Keep the Heating Bill Less Scary
This is more of an optional thing but will work great for those who rent out their property with the utilities included. Thermostat with the smart regulation will help you save quite a lot on the heating bill.
Check Your Smoke Detectors
Winter is about the Christmas and New Year holidays. People tend to use fireworks, special holiday lighting, etc. To make sure your rental property has all the safety triggers ready — inspect your smoke detectors.
Also, it’s actually a requirement of the state laws to keep your smoke detectors in a working and fully-functional condition, so it’s really important for you to perform this inspection. It’s about the safety of your rental house and your tenant’s life.
Summing Things Up
It’s October; you still have time to perform all the required inspections and check all the systems before you push the ‘let the winter in’ button. We hope you use our checklist and prepare your rental property for the winter the right way. Now have a cup of coffee and contact your tenant to discuss the winter preparations. We’re sure that he/she will be happy to help you out with this idea!
Mariia serves as editor-in-chief and writer for the Rentberry and Landlord Tips blogs. She covers topics such as landlord-tenant laws, tips and advice for renters, investment opportunities in various cities, and more. She holds a master’s degree in strategic management, and you can find her articles in such publications as Yahoo! Finance, Forbes, Benzinga, and RealEstateAgent.