By Jennifer McCready
If the properties you manage happen to be located in a geographical area that gets a lot of snow and other winter weather woes, chances are you’re preparing for what’s to come (if it hasn’t already). Snow and ice removal is an important part of properly managing properties, particularly in terms of liability. You don’t want to end up in court on the bad end of a personal injury case. That said, here are 3 ways to make sure your properties are ready to bear the brunt of brutal winter weather.
There are plenty of companies and individuals out there that specialize in snow removal and other winter tasks. You can hire someone to plow the parking lots or driveways of your properties, and perhaps another individual to handle the smaller jobs, like shoveling the walkways and clearing any ice or snow from common areas. If you don’t know of anyone, ask around.
If you’re more hands-on and the property or properties you manage don’t have large areas that need clearing, you may be able to handle this task on your own. Investing in a gas powered snow blower will make your job much easier and faster. Just make sure that if you choose the DIY route, you’re committed to staying on top of what needs to be done in a timely manner. Otherwise, you could end up with a lot of frustrated tenants and the risk of a potential accident or injury.
Delegate to a Trustworthy Tenant
If you’ve got a long-term tenant that you trust and who would be willing to handle the job of removing snow and taking care of icy walkways on your behalf, it might be a good idea. You’ll likely need to supply the person with the equipment (shovel, snow blower, salt/ice melt, etc.) and compensate them in some way (i.e. break on rent or actual cash payment). But the time and effort it will save you may make it well worth it.
Whichever option you happen to choose, the most important thing is making sure the service provided is done promptly. If the company you hire is too booked up to fit you in, find someone else. If you find you can’t squeeze the time into your busy schedule to handle snow removal yourself, come up with an alternate plan. Just be sure to stay on top of the incoming weather. Your tenants will be happy and you’ll be counting the days until spring in no time.