The newsLINK Group - The Change of Seasons

Editorial Library Category: Multi-Family & Property Management Topics: Multifamily Living, Seasons Title: The Change of Seasons Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: As an apartment manager, you have a responsibility with the change of seasons to make sure that you tenants are safe and are enjoying living within the community you manage. Editorial: The Change of Seasons 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 As an apartment manager, you have a responsibility with the change of seasons to make sure that your tenants are safe and are enjoying living within the community you manage. In addition, you know your tenants will have additional visitors during the holiday season because that’s just part of what happens when the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop: people fight the cold and the dark by having dinners, parties, and events. That means potential liability if anyone gets hurt while on your property. What can you do to prepare for the months to come? Put Time into Maintenance Winter weather is more unpredictable than ever. Some parts of the country have been enjoying gentle winters, and others haven’t. Even if your winter ends up being a mild one, though, it’s still smart to get ready for winter. Check on the following throughout your complex: Pest infestations: Anything alive that lives outside realizes the temperatures are dropping and might want to move into more sheltered circumstances. Think mice, for example, although you should be alert for other invaders as well. This is the time to make sure the invasion fails. Ground maintenance: This is the time to fertilize to prevent spring weeds and damage to the lawn during the long winter months. Make sure leaves are raked, bushes are trimmed, and low-lying branches are pruned. Do you have any trees that need to be removed? What about having the gutters cleaned? Are the downspouts and outdoor drains in good working order? Outdoor equipment: If you are responsible for any landscape maintenance, that means you have some tools to do the job. When the lawn goes dormant, it’s time to sharpen blades, cap fluids, and replace any power tools that have worn out. Irrigation systems: You might want to have someone check it at the end of the season to make sure the sprinkler heads are in order. Pools: For outdoor pools, now would be a good time to power-wash outdoor furniture and any cushions. Store everything that ought to be protected during the winter months so it won’t crack or fade. Heaters and air filters: This is the time to make sure heaters are working correctly. It might be a good idea to have air filters changed on a regular basis, too. Do any of your apartments have chimneys? If necessary, hire a professional chimney sweep to make sure the flue works correctly and to clear out any debris. Weatherproofing: Fix broken or cracked windows, and replace any caulking that needs it. Look at all the doors, too, to make sure the weather stripping is in good shape. Replace it if it isn’t. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 10 percent of the air that leaks out of homes is lost because of inadequate weather stripping. That air naturally goes out where leaving is easiest: through the windows and doors. If utilities are included at your complex, think about upgrading window treatments for better insulation as well. Outdoor plumbing: Water valves and faucets can have leaks. Repair whatever needs fixing to prevent winter drips. Indoor plumbing: Check kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms. Consider whether any pipes are likely to freeze, and if possible take the time to prevent that from happening. What about water heaters? Areas with hard water are likely to have sediment build up in the tank. Draining the tank and checking for rust is a good idea. Think, too, about upgrading water heaters so they are as energy efficient and cost effective as possible. Communicate with Your Tenants You already have a rough idea of what your tenants will be doing during the coming months. There are going to be Halloween parties and Thanksgiving dinners, for example. You may even have some ideas in mind to organize some social activity on a community level.