Winter, while bringing along wonderful things like the holidays and good spirits, can also bring about a few negative factors, such as increased expenses for landlords. While tenants can pay things like increased energy costs, there are definitely several expenses that will have to come from whoever is managing the property. Here’s a list of some of the costs that winter brings to landlords…
Keeping walkways safe
Keeping your tenants safe is extremely important, not only morally, but financially, as well. One important way that this must be done in the winter is keeping the walkways safe. Many properties have walkways that can suffer from ice buildup during the winter. This can be a liability, as large banks of snow will continue to contribute to the ice, making it more dangerous to walk on. Trying to mitigate any injuries will be much cheaper in the long run, despite the initial expenses that must be put in to keep these areas safe. You will either have to do this yourself, or pay somebody else to salt and scrape these walkways, routinely.
When winter rolls around, things like furnaces have a bad habit of ending up damaged, somehow, whether from neglect, tenant irresponsibility, or just bad luck. These furnaces, along with many other utilities, have likely sat unattended since the last winter (unless you kept up on your routine maintenance). Part of being a landlord is having to make sure that these utilities are in working order. Failing to have something like a working furnace could open you up to lawsuits, which will be much more costly than simply having repairs done.
Winter property damage
Sadly, properties have a tendency to get damaged in the winter season. The fluctuation of water running off from melting snow and then freezing can cause damage in everything from the roof to the sidewalk. Point is, the elements during this time of year can be quite harsh. Any landscaping that you have on your property will likely suffer, as well. While this is certainly a drag, it’s just part of the game of being a landlord.
Winter will generally require more general maintenance than other seasons. It’s simply the way the season works. These little costs, while small, will add up over the holidays. To prepare for this, it’s good to have a little fund built up over the year to prepare with these extra costs that winter brings.