WINTERIZING – How tenants and landlords need to work together!
When winter arrives, there isn’t much you can do outside. You’ve finished all the yard work and winterizing of the yard equipment If property owners and tenants work together, winterizing the inside of the property can be a breeze.
First of all, tenants need to know what they need to do and what tasks are on the landlord’s list.
According to the Wisconsin way, a landlord is responsible to keep a property temperature above 67 degrees. This means the furnace needs to be in working order.
Depending on your lease, a landlord may provide salt for the sidewalks and driveways and possibly provide snow removal equipment, such as a shovel. However, a property owner must maintain the safety of the rental unit. Keeping sidewalks and driveways clear from ice is a safety issue.
Insulating any outside pipes can keep them from bursting when the temperature gets below 20 degrees.
Making sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working is always a concern for property owners. With less traffic in an out of a house during the winter, and adding weatherproofing to windows and doors, air does not circulate as much as it does during other seasons.
The law does not require landlords to winterize the inside of the home. Some things tenants can do to make the inside comfortable and safe during the winter.
Be safe with holiday decorations Tenants don’t consider the electric load on outlets or how many strings of lights should be strung together when decorating. To not trip breakers, consider the amps that will kick on when you flip on the lights. Not overloading circuits can go along way to the life of a breaker.
Use portable space heaters safely Heaters can be a nice extra in a room that seems cold. It might also make sense if you have gas or electric heat to do what you can to switch to the more inexpensive heating source. Try to space out your small appliances. Having a heater on the same circuit as the television and cable, may cause issues.
Other things tenants should consider when it comes to winterizing their home.
If you have a vacation planned, set the thermostat to 67 degrees. The law states that the unit maintains 67 degrees for a reason. When no one is home to make sure there are no maintenance issues, if the temperature suddenly drops, frozen or busted pipes can cause a lot of damage.
While most property management companies require tenants to have renters insurance, it may not cover water damage. You may think to save on costs while you are away but coming back to frozen pipes and having to call in professionals will eat up any savings.
To be a little nicer during the holiday season, inform your landlord or management company about your vacation. They can plan to send someone over halfway through to make sure nothing has happened while you were away.
When both parties know about the expectations for winter safety and winterizing, tenants and landlords can work together to keep the home safe.