Did you invest in a property this summer and now you're facing your first winter as a landlord? Canadian winter weather can be unpredictable, be sure that your property is ready for whatever rolls in with the cold temperatures. With the Farmer’s Almanac calling for above-normal levels of rain and snow this year, make sure your property is ready by following these tips: 1. Check the furnace. Make sure your furnace is in good working order by booking a furnace inspection before the coldest part of winter hits. Wait times can be longer as we get deeper into the season, and that’s the worst time to make do without. Regular maintenance and inspections can save you money in the long run. 2. Insulate doors and windows. Keep the warmth in by installing or replacing weather-stripping or weather-strip film. Before tenants turn the heaters on, ensure the baseboards are clean and test each one to see that they’re working properly. Heat rises, so start with the basement first. 3. Empty exterior pipes. Water expands in the cold, so when severe cold snaps hit, pipes can be at risk of bursting. To avoid having your water pipes freeze and burst, empty all exterior taps, and shut off the valves until next spring.
4. Power outage backup.
Do you have a plan for if or when the power goes out? Have you installed a generator? Does it automatically start upon a power outage? If it doesn't be sure you have someone close by your property that knows how to turn it on in case you are far away. Then you don't have to risk traveling in turbulent weather conditions.
5. Plan snow removal
If you plan to do your own snow removal, get your machinery out before the first snowfall to ensure it is in good working condition and starts when needed. If you are contracting the work out, be sure to work out the terms and conditions of the agreement before the snow flies.
6. Ensure your tenants know winter parking by-laws
Many municipalities have different parking by-laws for the winter months to accommodate snow removal. Ensure your tenants are aware of any changes to parking allowances and alternate arrangements they may need to make.
With these tips, you’re well on your way to protecting your property investment. But if anything happens, be prepared by having a reliable insurance provider to support you along your investment journey.
(Partial source: NC)