In some parts of the country, it can snow as early as November and stick around until late May. Whether you have a multi-unit property or several single-family homes, snow removal is something property managers need to seriously prepare for well before it storms.
The time limit for snow removal is usually mandated by state law or municipal ordinances, so it’s important that you have a plan ready to go every time the white stuff starts to fall. When it is up to you to take care of the snow removal at your rental property, you have a few options.
Hire a Snow Removal Service
Turning the bulk of the work over to a professional snow removal service is the most convenient solution, but also the most expensive. Look for a local company that has good references and enough personnel and equipment to make timely visits to your property to get the job done.
As part of your negotiations, work out the time frame on how early the plows should arrive when there is overnight snow, and discuss return visits throughout the day for continuing snowfall. Don’t be afraid to call a few different companies to compare prices and services to get someone that can meet your unique needs at a reasonable price.
Remove Snow Yourself
If you are willing to invest in the equipment you need to properly remove snow from your rental property, you can always ensure that the job will be done to your satisfaction and on time. If your properties are close together or you live nearby, do-it-yourself snow removal can make a lot of sense and save you money. You’ll need to invest in a plow truck for driveways and parking lots, as well as a snow blower for sidewalks.
Doing snow removal on your own means you must commit to taking care of the properties early in the morning and throughout the day as needed. You’ll need a flexible schedule to ensure you can keep the key areas of your property free of snow buildup so that your tenants can enter and exit on time and safely.
Hand Your Tenants a Shovel and Put Them to Work!
Even though snow removal may be mostly your responsibility, tenants have some too. Depending on the state or municipal laws, tenants may be in charge of clearing their own sidewalks, doorways, steps or ramps, regardless of other areas of the property. It’s also a good idea to let tenants know the limits of your snow removal responsibilities.
For example, it is not the snow plow’s job to dig out all the cars in the parking lot or to come back and re-plow a parking spot after they have moved the car. Another example is to let tenants know that snow plowing will be done within the legal timeframe after snowfall and you are not obligated to make special arrangements for tenants who need to leave earlier (such as those working a graveyard shift). This kind of communication will help reduce disputes concerning snow removal expectations.
Prompt Snow Removal Benefits for Property Managers
Preparing for snow removal at your rental properties ultimately benefits you because it is a service you are offering to tenants as part of living at your property. Of course, with proper snow removal in place, you’ll ensure that tenants have no problem getting to work and therefore earning their full paycheck, from which the rent comes.
It’s also nice for prospective tenants to be able to enter the property and move around safely and conveniently during the winter months as you show units.
Snow removal services are just one of the aspects of property management that property managers need to cover, so do it right and keep your property and your tenants safe.
What certain steps do you take to make sure your properties are clean and free of snow in the winter? Share this article and let us know in the comments below!