The newsLINK Group - Managing Properties During the Winter

Editorial Library Category: Multi-Family & Property Management Topics: Changing Seasons Title: Managing Properties During the Winter Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Winter weather is hard on management properties. The problem becomes more complicated the more properties you are handling. Consider hiring winter maintenance services to help out with the load, even if the only task you delegate is snow removal. Editorial: Managing Properties During the Winter 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Winter weather is hard on management properties. The problem becomes more complicated the more properties you are handling. Consider hiring winter maintenance services to help out with the load, even if the only task you delegate is snow removal. Why does something like snow removal matter? High-quality residents won’t tolerate living somewhere that isn’t safe. Not keeping up with snow removal, however, can create an unsafe environment. Worse, you don’t want to be in a situation where residents are falling and getting hurt. Think of money spent on winter maintenance as money you won’t have to pay lawyers. You can safely assume that the lawyers would be a lot more expensive than preventing safety problems in the first place. Not only are there liability issues, but if you low-ball winter maintenance, you are also canceling out any benefits you might be gaining from advertising. Sales and marketing efforts are undermined when you tolerate an unsafe environment in an apartment community just because you didn’t put enough money or effort into snow removal. If you hire someone to remove snow, create an agreement or a contract before the snow season begins. Figure out how you will communicate with each other, and how frequently. Talk about keeping records, and expect a site visit so the provider can become familiar with the property, identify problem areas that need to be fixed, and determine where snow is to be placed so it doesn’t create a safety hazard for residents. Realize that you have to give the provider choices as well as responsibility and risk when it comes to snow removal. It’s not fair to short a provider on what is to be done and then expect that same provider to be responsible when someone gets hurt because what you authorized wasn’t adequate. In a situation where you hire a reputable service provider to remove snow, remember that timing matters. If you have a large bank of snow, for example, you might want to have the service provider dump some ice melt on it. However, the ice melt won’t work on snow; you have to have the area ploughed first before putting down the ice melt. Snow removal is not the only issue to consider. To keep renters happy, prevent wear and tear, and avoid having to pay for emergency repairs and litigation, the best way to do that is through preventive maintenance. Here are some areas to focus on year-round: Keep green areas pruned and clean. Trim trees before winter. Inspect the roof. You do not want to deal with leaking or collapsing ceilings. Clean the gutters so they are not clogged with debris. Have chimneys inspected. Look for peeling paint on exterior walls. (Peeling and blistering is a sign that the paint is failing and that it is no longer protecting the siding on the building.) Take care of air conditioners. Vacuum internal parts. Outside boxes should be wrapped with a tarp or a cover. Window units should be removed. Have oil or gas heaters serviced on a regular schedule (frequency will depend on what you have) and make sure HVAC filters get swapped out every 30 to 60 days. Replace old water heaters and flush the ones that are staying. Flush out water heaters every couple of years. The cost is about $30, and it prevents mineral deposits from building up too much. Sources: http://www.rentwell.com/philly-blog/10-winter-property- maintenance-musts https://www.reminetwork.com/articles/winter/ Word Count: 568 Copyscape Clear Date: 08.10.2016

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy NjAyOTE=