Here in north Texas, our winters can prove extremely unpredictable. Some days might prove mild and balmy. However, the weather might shift dramatically at any moment. Sudden cold fronts, freezing precipitation and high winds can develop suddenly and leave considerable damage. You have to protect your home during these times, even if it’s a rental property. What are some things renters can do to make the property safer?
Home maintenance is an important part of your responsibilities, even if you don’t own a home. Therefore, do what you can early this winter to make your property more secure.
Why You Must Protect a Rental Property
Often, rental properties endure a duality of responsibility. The property owner likely handles the heavy tasks and standard repairs. However, the renter must also do their due diligence.
If you let home maintenance tasks go unreported or un-repaired, you put yourself at risk. Your safety, and the security of your own belongings might come under threat. Even if you have renters insurance for these items, you still don’t want something to happen to them. Such damage might prove costly, even with coverage. Not only that, claims on your coverage might drive up your premiums in the meantime.
Some of the threats that might fall upon your property at these times might include:
- Structural damage following ice or snow accumulation on surfaces.
- House fires resulting from lit candles, seasonal decorations or fireplace use.
- Burst water lines related to sudden freezes and exposed pipes.
- Electric and HVAC system damage from increased system use.
So, before threats develop, talk to the property owner. See what you need to do on your own time to protect the space. Also ask them to make repairs to potential risk areas as soon as possible.
A Security Blanket You Can Support
With a little attention, you can do your own part in protecting your property this year.
- Monitor your use of open flames. Don’t leave candles, space heaters or your fireplace unattended. Do not place flammable items near these areas.
- Wrap pipes and leave a slow drip of water in the faucets during any sub-freezing temperatures.
- Check the home’s seals, including doors and windows for weak areas that may allow in pests.
- Keep an eye out for potential signs like leaks, drafts and pest infiltration. These items will likely signal foundation or roof problems that need repairs. The property owner will need to know so they can initiate repairs.
With care, you can play your own role in protecting your rental property this winter. However, if sudden damage were to occur, immediately let your landlord and rental insurer know.
Also Read: Tips for First Time Renters in Texas