When winter hits Wisconsin, it’s easy to lose sight of necessary outdoor activities. When you own rental property, building maintenance and tenant safety move to the top of your to-do list. During the winter months, both tenants and landlords have parts to play in keeping the rental property safe and winterized.
As a landlord, you must be able to provide a rental unit that can maintain an inside temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Wisconsin Way. The residential lease agreement should explain all expectations regarding maintaining snow removal, ice prevention and weatherproofing.
The standard lease agreement should clearly state who is responsible for winter maintenance. For example, if the lease states the tenant is responsible to clear the snow after each snowfall, then the tenant or anyone the tenant hires is responsible for snow removal. Tenants may incur fines if they’re responsible for snow removal if city maintenance crews do it.
Read your lease agreement fully and carefully to escape any unnecessary fees this winter.
There is a misconception out there that landlords must provide weather-proofing materials for inside the unit. Such as plastic for windows or weather stripping for exterior doors. While maintaining the windows and doors to be able to hold 67 degrees is necessary, providing extra weather-proofing is not.
If there is a concern with heat loss through windows or doors, tenants should contact property management company or owner to correct the problem.
However, if windows and doors are in good condition but the tenant knows when the wind blows just right the windows leak, they may want to purchase some plastic from a home improvement store. These are daily maintenance items no owner or management company would know unless tenants informed them.
Snow Removal Equipment
There may be a statement in a lease about snow removal equipment or salt for sidewalks. Pay close attention to who is responsible to take care of that and if there is a time-frame given.
Winter weather is unpredictable. If a lease says the landlord will drop off a shovel and salt by October 31 but it snowed enough on the 18th to warrant shoveling, tenants will have to buy their own.
If landlords and tenants work together winter maintenance can be a piece of cake. For 9 steps you need to take to winterize a rental property visit our blog here.
Call Day Property Management at 920-968-0626 or fill out our contact form to be sure both you know your role this winter.