Posted October 1, 2019 | by Primecorp Staff
View of Parliament in the Fall from Ottawa River
As the days grow shorter and the leaves begin to turn colour and drop from the trees, many residents in the Ottawa area are preparing to embrace the fall season, which can be full of fun and interesting activities in the National Capital Region, if you know where to look. However, this is also a time to prepare for the inevitability of winter, which can be a bit daunting if you’re a landlord, responsible for maintaining your property and the well-being of your tenants. At Primecorp Property Management, we are fully aware of the importance of proactively preparing for the upcoming winter season and all that this entails for the properties we manage in Ottawa and Gatineau.
As professional property managers, tasked with maintaining many different types of apartment rentals and homes for rent, in the Ottawa Area, Primecorp takes pride in ensuring that all the assets we manage are well-maintained and in good working order throughout the entire year. If you’re a property owner, or landlord, managing your own rental units, this post will give you a sense of the valuable services we offer for our landlord clients, regarding important property management tasks and tips for the fall. For Primecorp, taking care of such items aligns with our business model which includes taking excellent care of each property we manage, but also doing our best to make sure that every tenant in our properties is as happy as possible in their homes, and thus encouraged to rent for longer periods and reduce turnover rates.
Maintaining Heating Systems
Heating systems, such as furnaces and boilers, often lie relatively dormant throughout the summer months, and then must work to their full capacity during the intense cold season, that is winter in Ottawa. It is essential that these heating systems are inspected and professionally maintained, well before the biting cold season starts. That is why each fall, Primecorp ensures that all the heating systems in the properties we manage are inspected and tuned up by experienced professionals before winter sets in. This not only extends the service life of these vital machines, resulting in significant savings, but also ensures that they are operating optimally through the colder months, and less likely to breakdown during an intense cold snap, when they are most needed. This annual maintenance is also important for safety reasons, as carbon monoxide, known as the “silent killer,” is an odourless, hazardous gas that can leak out of old furnace systems that may appear to be working fine, but could have hidden cracks and faults, which only an expert can discover and resolve.
Preparing Windows for Winter
Draughty windows can be an annoyance in the warmer months, but when the cold sets in, they can leak precious warm air, increasing costs and decreasing the livability of rental units. Primecorp Property management is well adept at servicing older buildings, which may require the installation of storm windows for the winter season. Even modern windows need to be inspected and maintained to achieve optimal energy efficiency and to make sure your tenants are warm and comfortable in their homes over the winter season.
Tree Pruning and Yard Clean Up
Trees are a welcome, natural enhancement to most properties, but if left unpruned, or neglected they can cause serious property damage. Our grounds crews inspect all trees and shrubs on the properties we manage, each fall, and promptly address any concerns, such as dead branches, growths that obstruct views for pedestrian and vehicular traffic and root systems that might threaten the structural integrity of foundations, and which could lead to damaged pipes. We also clean up leaves and fallen debris from trees so that this material is not left to simply rot under the snow over the winter, leaving an even bigger mess to clean up in the spring.
Cleaning Eavestroughs and Drainage Systems
When deciduous trees inevitably drop their leaves in the fall, this material can collect in eavestroughs, gutters and drainage systems, blocking the flow of the water. If left unchecked, these blockages can cause ice dams that are dangerous for tenants and can lead to leaky roofs, which are especially troublesome with thawing and freezing cycles in winter. Our maintenance crews ensure that all eavestroughs and drainage systems are properly cleaned, and repaired if needed, during the fall so that they don’t become huge issues in the middle of winter. We provide these maintenance services for our larger apartment rental buildings and our 3rd party rental homes.
Primecorp Has Clearly Defined Maintenance Agreements
Primecorp Property Management has clearly defined maintenance agreements in place with all our landlord clients. These agreements stipulate the exact maintenance items that Primecorp is responsible for, along with any associated costs, which we try to keep as low as possible. Landlords benefit by knowing that their buildings and properties will be maintained by a professional and experienced property management company. Tenants will rest assured knowing they can call for assistance with any maintenance issues, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rather than an automated call centre, Primecorp makes sure that these calls are answered by an actual person, with the authority to remedy any given situation. This is especially valuable for our 3rd party rentals homes, which do not have a superintendent on site, providing tenants with the peace of mind that assistance is only a call away.
Primecorp Outlines Tenant Responsibilities and Provides Seasonal Reminders
Of course, tenants must take some responsibility for their rental units as well. Primecorp outlines exactly what these responsibilities are when a tenant signs a lease. We also provide friendly, useful reminders to help tenants fulfill these responsibilities, such as clearing off balconies and storing lawn chairs for the winter. Most of the buildings we manage have storage for tenants, but sometimes there is a bit of a waiting list if storage is limited. We do our best to accommodate storage requests in a timely manner.
Reliable Snow Removal is Must for Property Management in Ottawa
Winter in the National Capital Region can be beautiful, but the excessive snow we can experience is something that needs to be considered well in advance, especially if you are a landlord. As an experienced property management company, Primecorp understands the critical importance of providing dependable and timely snow removal service for our properties… for the safety of our tenants and the peace of mind of our landlords. Our snow removal contractors are certified, insured and bonded and proven to effectively manage heavy and sudden snowfalls and we know exactly how much this will cost. If you’re aiming to contract your own snow removal company, check out our snow removal tips for Ottawa property managers, in a previous post.
Concerned About Fall Maintenance for Your Rental Property? Contact Primecorp
If implementing these ideas for fall maintenance at your rental property seems overwhelming, it’s not too late to call us for help. Primecorp Property Management operates various commercial and residential apartment buildings and rental homes in the Ottawa area that we own, or manage for 3rd party landlords. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you with your property management responsibilities, please contact us today.