Fall Rental Maintenance for Off-Campus Housing

Monday, September 19, 2022

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Preventative rental unit maintenance can increase efficiency and avoid costly repairs. To keep expenses low, plus tenant satisfaction and safety high, it’s recommended that landlords do at least one yearly examination of each rental unit. 


The fall season is the ideal time to inspect rental units, in order to maintain optimal efficiency and reduced utility costs. 


Below are some suggestions to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and keep tenants safe.


  • Clean eaves troughs and roof. For those provinces or states that experience increased rainfall or snow, cleaning eaves troughs and debris from roofs can allow for proper water drainage and avoids ice build up, which can all be hazardous for tenants.
  • Inspect attic and basement for leaks. As a precaution, it’s always recommended to inspect the attic and basement for leaks before the rainy seasons. When leaks occur, it can be costly for both the landlord and tenant, as damage can be done to the rental unit and a tenant’s belongings.
  • Check insulation, pipes, foundation and concrete. For both cooler and warmer provinces/states, pipes and general home insulation should be inspected for optimal efficiency and damage prevention. Cold bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage to both the property and a tenant’s personal items. Areas prone to earthquakes should check foundations and concrete to ensure there aren't any cracks or maintenance required.
  • Tune-up heating system. Companies that provide heating system tune-ups and cleaning often offer discounts during spring and fall months to gain new customers. This preventative maintenance is an investment to help ensure the heating system is running safely and efficiently, saving potential major repairs in the future.
  • Regularly change furnace filter. A dirty furnace filter can reduce HVAC system efficiency. While the lifespan of furnace filters vary, it’s generally recommended to change it every 90 days.
  • Weather-stripping for doors and windows. These are an easy fix for doors and windows with a draft, which ultimately reduces heating costs and makes the rental unit more comfortable for tenants.
  • Provide entrance carpets. Putting a low cost rug or carpet at entrances can increase safety for tenants and reduce damage to flooring, especially in provinces or states with substantial rainfall or snow.
  • Hire snow removal and de-icing services. In applicable provinces and states, some landlords choose to hire a property manager or service provider for snow removal and de-icing. Should landlords wish to tackle this on their own or include it in the lease as the tenant’s responsibility, salt or sand should be used for tenant safety. 
  • Do general yard maintenance. An outdoor fall clean up increases the appeal of a rental property and generally includes raking, tree trimming, lot maintenance, etc. This also serves as the first impression for potential tenants when viewing a property and can be very influential in their decision to rent the unit or not.
  • Have emergency plans. Landlords should always have an emergency plan for fires, power outages or severe weather conditions. Tenants should be educated about the plans and fire escape routes should be posted.

Communication is key for a great landlord-tenant relationship. Some seasonal topics to discuss with tenants include street parking bylaws during snowy weather months and utility usage peak/low times during season changes.


These periodic tasks may seem time consuming and inconvenient, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the effort. Overall, a tenant’s satisfaction and happiness can lead to lease renewals and referrals, which ultimately saves the landlord time and money.


SEE ALSO:  Benefits of Being a Landlord

The Places4Students.com Team