There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown every “normal” plan for a loop this year, and even seasonal fall maintenance is no exception. Landlords and property managers must balance social distancing regulations and restrictions with maintaining rental units and addressing maintenance requests from residents.
You may be wondering how to conduct your seasonal fall maintenance this year, in light of all the current recommendations.
Understand Why Seasonal Maintenance is Valuable:
Seasonal maintenance is vital to ensure your tenants’ safety and to protect your property from damage. Addressing small fixes before they become a big problem will save your bottom line and will prevent undue harm to tenants for which you could be liable. This preventative maintenance is arguably most important during the cold seasons as rain, storms, and frosts all take their toll on your property and its features. With this in mind, it is still important to understand how to best prioritize your maintenance requests–especially in light of current social distancing recommendations and restrictions.
Typical Fall Maintenance to Conduct at Your Rental Properties:
Under normal circumstances, your autumn maintenance list should include a few key tasks. These include building interior, building exterior, and landscaping tasks that will prepare your property for any inclement weather as the season progresses.
Interior Fall Maintenance Tasks Include:
- Sweep and animal proof chimneys
- Check door and window’s weather stripping
Exterior Fall Maintenance Tasks Include:
- Clean gutters and add gutter covers to prevent clogging from debris
- Animal proof attics and basements
- Check railways and stairwells to ensure proper slip prevention
Landscaping Fall Maintenance Tasks Include:
- Reset irrigation systems to prepare for wetter conditions
- Winterize sprinkler and irrigation depending on local climate
- Remove branches that could prove hazardous during a storm
How to Address Fall Maintenance During COVID-19
Since COVID-19 spread remains a real concern, it is important to conduct preventative maintenance with plenty of notice and ensure that your tenants and your maintenance crew understand your social distancing guidelines for when you or a vendor needs to enter the rental property.
Find out more tips on how to stay safe during maintenance: Property Maintenance During Covid-19
Pass these tips to your tenants: How To Prep For A Maintenance Visit During Covid-19
It is also important to understand your area’s current risk of COVID spread and if any local stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders are in effect. This can help you assess how to conduct preventive fall maintenance in light of COVID-19 and can help you decide when the best time to do it will be. Certain annual maintenance or inspections, for instance, may be best to defer if at all possible, but it may not be advisable to wait on winterizing tasks if you want to ensure a habitable property (and avoid expensive repairs down the line).
Completing seasonal maintenance is always a chore, and the new obstacles to conducting fall maintenance with COVID are an added challenge. Ensuring that you are well-versed in your local or state regulations, understand current CDC recommendations, and that you have access to great vendors that ensure compliance with your policies, will go a long way to overcoming any challenges brought about by COVID this fall. With a little thoughtful planning, you should be able to check those vital plans off of your to-do list.