Is Your Utah Lease Agreement Strong Enough?

Is Your Utah Lease Agreement Strong Enough?

A tenant filling out an Utah lease agreement.

Managing your own Utah rental property can be tricky. From maintenance to tenant turnover, there are many factors to consider when managing your own property. One of the first and most important parts of successfully renting your property is a strong lease agreement. This is what sets the tone for both yours and your renter’s experience. The lease dictates what is and is not allowed in the home, as well as the rules the renter must comply with in order to live there. If you’re like most owners, you probably Googled “lease agreement” and printed off the first one that looked good. Unfortunately, this is not a sound practice to follow. The lease agreement is the most important part of successful property management and is typically the root of all major problems. Having a rock-solid lease agreement that outlines expectations, acceptable behavior, and consequences are essential to your success as a rental property owner. At Wolfnest, our property management services include crafting strong rental agreements in Utah and ensuring that your property is protected. If you look at your last lease, do you think it’s strong enough? We’re here to help you evaluate your current lease agreements and help you craft stronger ones.

The Benefits of a Utah Lease Agreement

Many lease agreements available on the Internet are not state-specific, and contain generic clauses that may or may not protect your best interests. The goal of a lease agreement should always be that in the event the owner and tenant find themselves in a court dispute, it clearly outlines what the owner and tenant agreed to do. This is why having a specific Utah lease agreement is best since it protects you against specific state laws or city codes. State- or city-specific clauses help solidify your requirements and can come in handy if you ever find yourself in litigation. For example, if you evict a renter for violating a part of their lease, you must have proof, as well have it clearly defined that they violated the lease. This protects you and makes your case easier to win.

A home that is for rent and needs a rental agreement in Utah.

Crafting the Right Rental Agreement in Utah

Every owner has different rules and preferences for their property, so crafting your own lease agreement ensures that all these requirements are stated. If you’re unsure of what you should include, we’re here to help. We have compiled this helpful list of what elements are outlined in most lease agreements. It doesn’t matter whether you’re for or against each part, but each section must be included. Lease agreements aren’t meant to state everything a tenant can’t do. They should be well-rounded and include what is allowed as well, so every aspect of the lease is clear. So, take note of each part and this should help you determine what will be included in your Utah lease agreement.

Smoking

This is one of the most common clauses included in a lease agreement. Whether you’re for or against smoking, this section needs to be very clear to avoid any confusion. Some items this should address include: 

  • Is the tenant and/or their guests allowed to smoke in or on the property? 
  • Is he/she liable for any damage caused by this?
  • Are only cigarettes and cigars prohibited, or does this include vapes as well?

If this is not outlined and agreed to in the lease agreement, it will be difficult to prove in court and you run the risk of not being compensated for damages.

Late Fees

In addition to establishing when rent is due, it’s important to explicitly state what type of fees occur when rent is not paid on time. This should answer the question of, “How much and when will the tenant be charged for late rent?” By clearly stating this, your tenant will be encouraged to pay rent on time.

Animals

Pets tend to be a hot-button issue among homeowners and landlords. While some landlords are fine with having animals in the home, others do not feel the same way. Whichever side of the debate you’re on, it’s important to make that clearly stated to future tenants. This section should address: 

  • Can the tenant have animals on the property? If so, which kind of animals are allowed?
  • Are there any fees associated with having animals in the home?
  • What are the consequences of having an animal without your permission? 

The “Animals” section should also comply with state and city laws regarding what types and how many animals are allowed within a home. Double-check the law surrounding this and ensure that your lease is in compliance.

Pests

Unfortunately, no home is immune to pests. This section of the lease should determine who is responsible for resolving and infestation and if the tenant can hold the owner responsible for any damages due to the pests.

Right of Entry

Although a lease is primarily for prospective tenants, this section actually applies more to the property manager. This establishes when and if the landlord can enter the property, and if he/she has to give notice before.

Utilities

Last but not least, this section of the lease determines who is responsible for which utilities. Typically, the owner covers some (can include water, sewer, and trash) and the tenant covers the rest (gas, electric, and Internet/cable). This section should explicitly state who pays for what so there is no confusion.

 Property Management and Lease Agreements

A couple receiving keys from property management after signing lease agreement.

Experienced property management companies, such as Wolfnest, can help you craft a strong Utah lease agreement so both you and your property are protected. Our property managers can craft a customized and solid lease agreement no matter what type of property you have. In addition to drafting lease agreements, our experienced property management specialists can help cover the day-to-day operations of your rental so you can save time and money. Contact us today and get started on creating the perfect lease agreement!


5 Essential Qualities of a Rental Property Management Company

5 Essential Qualities of a Rental Property Management Company

rental property management

While some property and homeowners may believe that all residential property management companies are created equal, this is not the case. Any owner that has had a bad experience with property management can attest to this. It may seem like an owner may save money by employing the management company with the lowest rates, but they risk losing so much more in the long run. That’s why it’s important to put your rental property management in the best hands from the beginning. At Wolfnest, we believe in transparency and exceeding expectations. So, we’ve compiled the top five qualities you should look for when hiring a rental property management company.

Qualities to Look for in Rental Property Management

There are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing who will handle your rental property. While all are important, we have narrowed down the top five that we consider the most important and that will make the biggest difference in your property management experience.

Good Communication Skills

This may not seem that important, but good communication is very important in property management. A great property management company should be able to articulate what is happening with your property at any given time. The property manager interacts with many different people, including tenants, owners, and maintenance partners. So, the manager must be able to keep all parties on the same page. This is especially critical since many times these individuals might be frustrated or angry about something happening at the property. When dealing with these types of situations, it is imperative that the property manager remains calm and respond in a professional manner. If you feel like you can’t talk to your manager, why would you want to put them in charge of the day-to-day of your property? Open and easy communication is the first attribute to look for in a rental property management company.

Honest and Ethical

Since the property management company is collecting rent, security deposits, and other expenses, owners have to put a great deal of trust that the manager will always look out for their best interest. When the management company is hired, they are agreeing to uphold their fiduciary duty and perform the job with the highest level of integrity. This is why it is crucial that the property manager you hire will always consider your needs when making a decision about your property. With good communication skills, you should be able to establish the level of trust needed between you and your rental property management company.

Excellent Follow-Up Skills

In business, it’s extremely important to stay true to your word and do what you say you will. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If a property manager says they will look into a maintenance issue and get back to you later that day, you expect them to follow-up. When you’re putting your property into the hands of someone else, you expect to be kept in the loop. It can be difficult to let go of control of your property, but sometimes it’s necessary when you have a busy schedule. So, always determine how efficient the company’s follow-up skills are before hiring them. This way, you’ll know what you’re getting into and can find the best property management company for your rental.

Valuable Maintenance Partner Relationships

Unfortunately, something will break and inevitably need to be fixed with every rental property. As an owner, you should have peace of mind knowing your property management company has relationships in place to have these issues resolved correctly and in a timely manner. You should also feel confident enough in the property management company to keep existing relationships you may already have. Maintenance is simply a part of owning any rental property, and part of hiring a management company is transferring the responsibility to them. So, just as you should trust your manager to be honest and ethical, you should also trust them when it comes to valuable maintenance partner relationships.

Knowledgeable on Rules and Regulations

Many owners may not realize there are many local, state, and federal regulations you must adhere to when renting a property. If these are not compiled within the leasing agreement, an owner may be opening themselves up to future lawsuits. One of the perks of hiring a rental property management company is they have knowledge of these regulations. At least, they should. This is an important factor to consider when choosing your property management company. They should already know about these regulations, and how to adhere to them. So, in order to protect yourself in the long run, find a property management company that knows all the ins and outs of the different renting regulations.

Rental Property Management Company

Finding the Right Rental Property Management

While these are the top five qualities to look for, these aren’t the only things to consider. The most important part of finding the right property management is doing your research. It is critical to know what you’re getting into before going into business with a property management company. However, keep these top five qualities in mind:

  • Good communication skills
  • Honest and ethical
  • Excellent follow-up skills
  • Valuable maintenance partner relationships
  • Knowledgeable on rules and regulations

These are a great starting point for anyone looking for a property management company for the first time or reevaluating your current management. So, if these qualities do not describe your current property manager, Wolfnest is here to help. Download our free information packet to find out how we can improve the performance of your rental property.

Remodeling Your Rental Property in Utah

Remodeling Your Rental Property in Utah

remodeling rental property

“You have to spend money to make money.” This is an old, common phrase you have probably heard several times. While this can apply to a variety of different businesses and ventures, it is especially true when you begin investing in rental properties. Prospective renters are looking for reasonable rent, especially in Utah, but that doesn’t mean they want to sacrifice amenities like new appliances or hardwood floors. Before you start listing your property for rent, you may want to consider how you can improve your rental.

At Wolfnest, we understand that it can be difficult to dedicate funds to improving an investment that may already be producing for you. However, this can be one of the most important decisions you can make. If you spend your money wisely and remodel your property the right way, you could cover the cost of the remodel in a few short months while increasing your cash flow.

Let’s break this down with an example. Last year, I spent $2,000 on upgrading features and overall remodeling my rental property. As a direct result of renovating the rental property, the monthly rent of my property went from $1,000 to $1,250. By increasing my monthly cash flow by $250, I was able to cover the cost of the property remodeling in eight months, and pocket an extra $1,000 for the remaining four months of the year. So, taking the time to renovate your property can pay off big in the long run.

Remodeling Your Rental Property Inexpensively

While a total overhaul may be necessary in some cases, other times simple, inexpensive upgrades can be sufficient. So, what are some ways you can upgrade your rental property and maximize your rental income?

Replace Door Handles

It’s no surprise that home trends come and go. Some can be difficult to keep up with, but others are a relatively quick fix. One of these is simply upgrading your door handles from an outdated brass to a more contemporary brushed nickel. Brass door handles are typically found in older properties but have fallen out of style and use in new homes. Since you need to change the lock from tenant to tenant anyway, replacing all the handles throughout a property is a simple additional task. Brushed nickel will automatically give the home a fresher look, and update the property overall.

Upgrade Light Fixtures

Depending on what kind of lighting your property already has, this can be a quick fix or a slightly more intensive project. However, lighting can make all the difference. Replacing dated light fixtures with a more modern look can brighten up particular areas within the home. This can help to showcase great accents that you want to be noticed, such as a breakfast nook or other architectural features. Make any property more modern with a simple light fixture upgrade.

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

A new paint job is one of the simplest methods of property remodeling. Whether it’s a brand new color or an upgrade of the existing paint, a fresh coat of paint can bring life to any rental property. In addition, you can install new crown molding and instantly give the property a higher-end look. Another option is simply painting the existing crown molding to brighten it up, and draw attention to this particular feature. When it’s as simple as applying some fresh paint, remodeling your rental property is a no brainer.

Completely Renovating a Rental Property

If your property needs a little more intensive remodeling, you can start with small renovations. There are two major areas of the home that we recommend renovating first: the kitchen and the bathroom. These are two areas of the home that are important to renters and can help bring your property to the next level.

The Kitchen

When you start renovating the kitchen, there are a few areas we suggest focusing on first. These include:

        • Replacing laminate flooring with tile
        • Painting the cabinets
        • Upgrading appliances to stainless steel

Upgrading and replacing a few of these things can easily transform a kitchen and make it look brand new. This is a great option for older properties that may not have other amenities available.

property remodeling

The Bathroom

The bathroom can make or break a property for some renters. Cleanliness is very important, and it’s no secret that the older some features are, the dirtier they can look. A few easy upgrades for this section of the home include:

        • Re-tiling the bathtub/shower
        • Replacing laminate countertops with granite
        • Upgrading the showerhead

There are many different things you can do to transform a bathroom, and this is just the beginning. Upgrading parts of the bathroom over a longer period of time helps lower the initial cost. However, some updates are so simple you could have them done in an afternoon.

Why Property Remodeling is Important

Spending the money to remodel a rental property may seem impractical, but I assure you it can be very beneficial if you upgrade the right areas. Whether it’s a simple upgrade or a complete overhaul, any and all updates will only benefit you in the long run. Start with seeing what other owners have done to homes in the area, so you know what is important to renters in your neighborhood. This will also give you a great starting point, and you can plan your renovations well ahead of time. Keeping your property up-to-date will also be lower maintenance requests since you’ll be getting ahead of any broken appliances or other similar issues. As your property management company, Wolfnest is happy to help you decide what to upgrade while running your day-to-day operations. Learn more about our property management services and how Wolfnest can help you transform your rental property.

Is it time to hire a property management company?

Is it time to hire a property management company?

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Being a landlord can be very stressful and it requires a lot of time and energy from an owner. Many owners ask: “when is the right time to hire a property management company to manage my investment?” The answer to this question will vary from owner to owner, but below are some of the signs that it is time to hire a property manager:

How to Know When to Hire a Property Management Company

  • You are being bombarded with maintenance requests – Receiving maintenance requests are unavoidable. Things are going to break with your investment property and they will need to be fixed. If these maintenance requests are coming in faster than you can get them resolved, it may be time to consider hiring a property management company. A good property manager will have a list of qualified vendors that can usually solve any issue in a timely manner.
  • You move to a different location than your investment property – As stated earlier, in order to manage your investment property, you have to be able to be in close proximity to your property. Any time there is a showing, you need to collect rent, or there is a maintenance issue, you need to be able to get to the property quickly. If you move to a different city or state, it may be time to hire a property management company.
  • You cannot handle all of the showings – One of the most important aspects of renting your property is finding a qualified tenant to place in your investment. Without doing so, you cannot make any money on your investment. For this reason, you have to be available to show your property to prospective tenants. If you cannot find the time to do this, it may be time to consider hiring a property management company.
  • You do not know what to do once your tenant stops paying rent – No one wants to rent their property to a tenant that does not pay rent on time or does not take care of your investment. In the unfortunate event that your tenant stops paying rent, do you know the procedure for eviction? If you answered “no”, then it may be time to consider hiring a property management company. A good property management company will be well versed and should have a procedure in place in the event a tenant needs to be evicted.

If you do not think that you are able to continue managing your investment, please consider hiring FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your investment will be taken care of. Contact us today at 801-673-5692.

How Often Should You Inspect Your Utah Rental Property?

How Often Should You Inspect Your Utah Rental Property?

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Have you ever conducted an inspection of your Utah rental property after the tenant has moved out and you find that the property has been trashed? There is thousands of dollars worth of damage and the security deposit will not cover all of it. You would like to collect the money from the tenant, but you don’t want to go to court. Furthermore, do you have documentation showing the condition of the property before the tenant moved in? As you can imagine, this situation can be an absolute nightmare. If you have never experienced this, consider yourself lucky.

Unfortunately, this scenario is becoming more and more common, but can be prevented by conducting regular inspections of your property. I realize that conducting inspections can be time consuming, but taking steps to prevent damage is essential to your success as a rental property owner. Your rental property is an investment and you really need to do everything you can to protect this investment.

So, how should you perform an inspection and how often should you do it? Many owners and property management companies consider “driving by the property” an inspection, but this just isn’t going to cut it. A thorough inspection should consist of a complete walk-through of the property, taking pictures along the way to document the condition. Take your time, and be thorough when examining the property, because evidence is what plays in court.

With regards to how often you should inspect your rental property, I believe that this should be completed as often as you can. As a rule of thumb, I will always inspect my property when the following occur:

 

  • Move-In: I will conduct an in-depth inspection report with photos before the tenant moves into the property. I will give the tenant a copy of the report to view, and once they agree, I have him/her sign it.
  • Maintenance Visits: Each time I receive a maintenance request, I use this as an opportunity to walk through the entire property to ensure that nothing has been damaged and that the terms of the lease are being followed.
  • Law Enforcement is called to the Property: Obviously if the police are being called to your property, there is a reason. I use this as an opportunity to make sure that there is nothing illegal that is happening at my property and that all terms of the lease are being followed.
  • Quarterly: I will conduct an inspection randomly throughout the quarter and will provide the tenants as little notice as possible. I do this to make sure that if the terms of the lease are not being followed, they will not have a lot of time to hide this from me. It also gives me an opportunity to assess if any damage has occurred and how to resolve it with the tenants.
  • Move-Out: I will conduct an in-depth inspection at the time of move-out and compare with the inspection I performed at the time of move-in. This is a great way to determine any damage that has occurred during the life of the lease agreement.

 

Spending the necessary time to conduct thorough inspections on a regular basis can be a great way to minimize the risk of your property being damaged by a tenant. If you have questions on how and when inspections should be performed or if you are considering hiring a property management company, please contact us today. Start by downloading our free owner information packet.

Why the Cheapest Utah Property Management Company is Rarely the Best

Why the Cheapest Utah Property Management Company is Rarely the Best

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Have you ever heard the saying “you get what you pay for”? Unfortunately this could not be more accurate when deciding which Utah property manager you will hire. Many companies will offer to manage your property for a very low rate, but the owner ends up doing the majority of the work in the end. This can lead to owners feeling like property managers are not worth the money and that they should just manage the property themselves. Just think about it, what type of company competes solely on price? Well, one that can’t compete on service.

When interviewing a property management company and discussing rates, it is very important to outline what services the company will be providing for the rate they charge. Will they be handing all maintenance requests? Will they be performing regular inspections? Will they be directly corresponding with the tenant? By agreeing to all of these items upfront, it will help to set expectations and to avoid disappointment.

More often than not, the company that is charging the lowest rate is not going to be providing much service. They will help place a tenant into the property and collect the rent each month, but that is about it. I have heard countless times (and experienced first hand) that the company that offered the lowest fees did not sufficiently take care of any maintenance issues, referred the tenant to the owner if there were any problems, and even had trouble returning a phone call or email.

I am here to tell you that not all management companies are created equal. When you hire a property manager, you deserve a company that will look out for your best interests and will handle everything for you. These companies will charge a little more for their service, but the difference in service will more than make up the extra cost. Isn’t that the reason you hired a property manager to begin with? To relieve you from the headaches associated with managing a rental property.

Don’t be fooled into choosing a property management company based on price alone. When interviewing a manager, the best advice I can give is to decide which issues are the most important to you and what needs of yours must be met. Then, discuss these with your prospective management company. If they are a quality company, they will focus on meeting your needs, not convincing you that you need what they offer.

If you have any questions on how to choose the best management company or if you are considering hiring a property management company, please contact us. To learn more about our customizable management plans, please download our owner information packet now.

Why Owners Should Allow Pets in their Rental Properties

Why Owners Should Allow Pets in their Rental Properties

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Almost all owners have heard the horror stories of allowing tenants to have pets in their rental property – from kitty litter clogging the pipes to a dog soiling and ruining the carpet. While many owners would claim that allowing pets is more trouble than it is worth, I would argue that it is an opportunity that more owners should take advantage of.

You may be asking yourself, “How is allowing pets an opportunity?” Instead of focusing on the potential issues and damage caused by pets, I would implore an owner to focus on the opportunity and money saved by renting the unit very quickly. With more than 60% of potential tenants having a pet of some kind, you are hindering yourself by classifying this demographic as “not welcome”.

As I stated earlier, I believe that an owner can actually save money by allowing pets. On average, an owner that allows pets will rent his/her property within 2-8 weeks, compared to 4-16 weeks by not allowing pets (since your applicant pool is increased by 60%). If an owner rents his/her property for $900 a month and is able to find a tenant with a pet in 1 month, compared to a tenant without a pet in 3 months, the owner has saved $1,800 that would otherwise have been lost to vacancy. Even if the owner experiences damages from the pets, I would argue that the damages incurred would not be greater than the money saved.

In addition, owners that allow pets are typically able to rent properties for 20-30% higher. Since many owners will not rent to tenants with pets, the owners that are willing to allow pets are more scarce. Because of this, the tenant is willing to pay a premium to accommodate his/her request.

Once you have decided that you will allow pets in your rental property, you may be wondering how to mitigate the risk associated with this. Many owners will set guidelines under which they will allow pets in their property. An example of this would be only allowing a pet if it weighs less than 25 pounds or only allowing certain dog breeds (since many breeds are more aggressive than  others). In addition, it is always a good idea to require an additional security deposit for allowing the pet. More often than not, the tenant will not have a problem with this, as they realize the risk of damage.

If you would like help in creating a pet policy or if you would like assistance in managing your investment, please consider hiring FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide the peace of mind knowing that your investment will be taken care of.

Learn more about how we manage property by downloading our free owner information packet.

How to Choose a Utah Property Manager

How to Choose a Utah Property Manager

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With more and more individuals choosing to rent instead of buy a home, smart Utah owners are deciding to rent their properties instead of sell them. This can be an excellent way to continue to pay down the principal amount owed on the mortgage while waiting for market conditions to improve.

If you decide to rent your home, but don’t feel like you have the time necessary to handle being a landlord, you may consider hiring a property management company. Below are some thoughts you should consider before making your decision to ensure you find the right fit:

 

  • Does the company specialize in a certain type of property? Some property management companies will focus their business on managing a particular type of rental property, which may include apartment buildings, single family homes, or condo associations. It may be in your best interest to employ a management company that is an expert at managing your specific type of property.
  • How many properties does the company currently manage? Whether the company manages 600 units or 60 units, there are benefits to both. While the company that has more units in their portfolio shows that they are established, the smaller company may have a more personal approach to managing your property. You will need to decide which you prefer before making your decision.
  • How will the company fill the vacancy for my property? You may find the best management company in the world, but if they cannot find a tenant, you will lose money. Does the company employ an hourly or commissioned leasing manager? While the hourly employee will have little motivation to fill your unit, the commissioned manager will probably cost you a little more money. You will need to ask yourself what is more important to you.

 

There are several property management companies in Utah that could do an excellent job managing your property, but you will want to find the best fit for your situation. If you have any questions about how to choose a management company or think we may work best for you, please contact us at FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your investment is being taken care of.

Download our free owner information packet today!

I Can’t Sell My Home, Should I Rent it Out?

I Can’t Sell My Home, Should I Rent it Out?

Salt Lake City, Utah Property Management - Beautiful Rental Property with pristine yard for rent

Unfortunately with the continued downward pressure being applied to the Utah housing market, it is becoming more and more common that homeowners can’t afford to sell their current property. This can be especially frustrating if they have outgrown their home and would like to buy a bigger house, or if a job transfer has forced them to move out of the state.

If this sounds familiar, you might be asking yourself: what are my options? If you owe more than what the home is currently worth, you will either need to negotiate a short sale with the lender or come out of pocket for the difference between the sales price and what is owed on your mortgage in order to facilitate the sale. Many home owners may think that a short sale sounds like a good idea because you can just “give the property back to the bank”, but it has a negative impact to your credit and will prevent you from purchasing another home in the future.

If neither of these are options are for you, you may want to consider the possibility of renting your home. I know that the first thing that you may be thinking is “I don’t want to be a landlord and have to deal with the problems that renters bring”. While being a landlord can be a lot of work, it can also provide many benefits. By renting your home, it will allow you to not only continue to reduce the principal amount owed on your mortgage each month, but it will also provide you with time for the Utah housing market to turn around.

If renting out your home sounds like an option that may work, you must then decide if you will be managing the property yourself or if you will be hiring a property management company. While both options have benefits and drawbacks, you should decide based on your unique needs. If you have the time available to show the property to prospective tenants, complete the lease agreement, and handle all of the maintenance requests associated with the home, then managing the property yourself may be an excellent option.

On the other hand, if you do not think you will have the time required or just do not feel comfortable with all the responsibilities that being a landlord entails, then you may want to consider hiring a property management company. A good property management company will market your home for rent, screen all potential tenants, complete a lease agreement, collect rent payments each month, resolve all maintenance issues with the home, and evict the tenant if he/she does not honor the terms of the lease.

Renting your property can be an excellent alternative to selling in a down real estate market. If you have any questions about renting out your current home or if you are considering hiring a property management company, please contact us at FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your investment is being taken care of.

Questions? Download our free owner information packet today!

5 steps to Winterizing your Utah Rental Property

5 steps to Winterizing your Utah Rental Property

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As the weather begins to get colder and we head into winter, it is important to remember that your rental property will need to be winterized in order to ensure maximum efficiency. You may be asking, “What does winterizing a property entail?” There are many different measures that can be taken to winterize a property, but essentially it’s any protective steps taken to minimize potential problems with the property throughout the winter. Below are some of the most common tips to winterizing your investment property:

  1. Insulate your windows – Throughout the winter, as much as 25-50% of heat can be lost through the windows. This can be prevented by temporarily installing a thick piece of plastic over each window. This is a very inexpensive way to help keep the heat in the unit and lower the gas bill throughout the winter months.
  2. Service your furnace regularly – Before winter arrives, it is a good idea to have a HVAC specialist service the furnace at your rental property and replace the furnace filter. Dirt and dust can clog this filter throughout the course of the year, making the furnace work even harder. This can have a drastic effect on the efficiency of the unit and may even cause severe damage, which can be very costly. By focusing on servicing the furnace and replacing the filter, you can save energy and lower the utility bill throughout the winter months.
  3. Caulk the gaps – On a windy winter day I am sure that you can find a draft coming into your rental property from various locations, including windows, doors, and electrical outlets. This is another example of heat lost throughout the winter months, increasing your utility bills. By caulking or applying weather-stripping to these areas, you can very inexpensively prevent heat from escaping and lower your heating bill.
  4. Shutoff/remove A/C units – If your investment property has window air conditioning units, it’s wise to have your tenants remove these before the winter months (as heat will escape through the windows if these are not removed). If your property utilizes a swamp cooler, it is essential that all water is drained and the unit is properly covered in order to prevent pipes freezing in the winter. This will also significantly extend the life of the air conditioning system.
  5. Reverse the fan – A little known fact about ceiling fans is the blades should be turning counter-clockwise in the summer months and clockwise during the winter months. The reasoning for this is to assist warm air being pushed downward in addition to increasing circulation. This tip will also assist in keeping the utility bill lower throughout the winter months.

These five tips are very easy, inexpensive ways to increase the energy efficiency of your investment property and help lower the monthly utility bill during the winter months. If you would like assistance in winterizing your rental property, please consider hiring FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your investment will be taken care of.

Download our free owner information packet to get started today!