Winter proofing property and protecting myself as landlord

8 Replies

Winter is basically here, and I have a rental in the New England area.  What are some MUST DO things to protect my property?  How do I take percussions to protect myself from emergency repairs, tenants getting hurt. 

Snow removal. And keep an eye on the weather for cold fronts that can ice over water that has melted onto your sidewalks

Also want to remove any icicles that form around gutters etc.

I like to offer a small concession to a responsible tenant in exchange to keep an eye on the conditions and add salt as needed. This is in addition to my snow removal contract services. 

Just an added layer of protection.

Good luck!

That's a great question... As a followup - I've been including $500/yearly towards expenses using the Rental Calculator. I live in Maine. Is this detail too much for initial analysis of cash flow? I find when I start to add snow removal, heat etc... nothing cash flows!

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This post has been removed.

I would include in the lease that general shoveling/salting of walkways, steps, or doorways is responsibility of tenant but I would maybe provide all units with snow shovels. With any decent snowfall be sure that any exterior air vents are not buried.

Originally posted by @Nicholas Hunt :
That's a great question...

As a followup - I've been including $500/yearly towards expenses using the Rental Calculator. I live in Maine. Is this detail too much for initial analysis of cash flow?

I find when I start to add snow removal, heat etc... nothing cash flows!

Hey my sister lives up in Saco. Here is the issue - if it is 50 a pass by the snow plow man and you have 4 regular storms and one storm that's a lot and requires 2 passes guess what that 500 is gone. 

For single family homes, it is my tenant's responsibility to remove their own snow.  I don't want the responsibility (or hassle) of keeping their walks and drives clean.  That is accepted practice in my area and is in the lease.

For my multi's, I provide a community icemelt bucket and 4 shovels, including a flatheat dirt shovel and sidewalk scraper for ice scraping.  They will try and scrape ice with the plastic snow shovel otherwise and the thing won't last a week.

For multi's, I have a contract with a snow remover for the drives and parking lots.  

If one of my houses is vacant at all in winter, the water gets shut off.  Can't tell you how many folks are just amazed that pipes froze over Christmas.  Duh. If I had a PM, I'd make that a standard practice for them to do as well.   

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