We have already had some snow in the mid-Atlantic region, and that tells us that we may be in for a harsh winter this year. It’s important that you know how to protect your Ashburn rental property from severe weather, especially freezing temperatures and heavy snow. Today, we’re talking about some of the precautions we take with the properties we manage.
Snow Removal from Rental Properties
Keep all sidewalks and driveways clear of snow and ice. It’s your tenant’s responsibility to clear any ice and shovel any snow, so make sure your lease reflects that requirement. Be specific about how your tenants should manage this. You don’t want them to use any harsh products that may cause damage to the concrete. Make sure your tenants understand how to handle this and are able to do it, otherwise we recommend you hire someone to remove the snow and ice, and then charge that amount to your tenants.
When your property is vacancy, you’ll still need to keep it clear after a snow or a winter storm. At Castle Property Management, we contract with vendors to remove the snow and ice and keep your property safe. Your account will be billed for this service. Remember that the costs can be high, especially if you have a long driveway or a lot of sidewalk space.
Winterizing your Rental Home
There are a few preventative measures that you should take when cold temperatures are approaching and there’s a danger that pipes will freeze. First, you need to turn off the outside water. It’s a good idea to blow the irrigation lines and to install storm windows. Check your gutters and make sure they are free of debris, and brush off any branches, leaves, or snow that may have piled onto your roof.
If you’re out of town during the winter, it’s especially important to work with a professional Ashburn property management company. You need local experts who can go to your property, check on your tenant, and make sure the home is prepared for extreme weather. You also need someone who is easily reachable in case something happens at the home and an emergency repair is needed.
During a bad storm or freezing weather, it’s possible your tenants will lose power or phone service. You’ll need a plan in place to communicate with your tenants and follow up with any problems at the property. Review your insurance policies in case a claim needs to be made and make sure you have emergency contact information for your tenants in case severe weather puts them in danger. We never expect the worst case scenario to happen, but we want to be prepared for it.
Don’t wait until mid-winter to prepare your home for cold weather and lots of snow. If you’d like some help protecting your investment property, please contact us at Castle Property Management. We’d be happy to help you.