Many renters occupy their properties for several seasons. Long-term leases often run for around one year, and many renters choose to extend them. Long-term occupancy of a property means a renter often becomes very familiar with their home.
As summer prepares to end, the oncoming autumn and winter may bring seasonal changes that could place stress on rental homes. Therefore, the renter and property owner should do what they can to reduce seasonal damage risks in the home. This includes examining their existing property insurance policies.
1. Review Your Renters Insurance
Once or twice per year, renters should review their renters insurance policies. These policies often cover a variety of hazards that may damage a rental property and the renter’s property within.
Should weather conditions damage the home or renter’s property, the policy may help repair damages and replace lost items. However, policies may limit the amount of money, or the weather damages they cover. For this reason, policyholders should review their policies to make sure they protect them from common seasonal hazards in their area.
2. Review Your Lease Responsibilities
Renters often share the responsibility of home maintenance with the property owner. Therefore, as the seasons change, renters should talk to the homeowner about various home maintenance tasks that may come up. A renter may be easily able to prepare the home for seasonal changes.
However, the owner may wish to handle some of the projects on their own. As the property’s owner, they have a right to make sure that modifications are done to their specifications. Therefore, when beginning seasonal maintenance, talk to the owner. A lease may stipulate which parties handle maintenance. If it does not, the parties should take legally binding steps to enumerate these expectations.
3. Preparing a Rental for Winter
Both the homeowner and the renter can take proactive steps to get the home ready for seasonal changes. Starting while the weather is still nice may help avoid hassles later on.
- Inspect the home’s roof. Extended exposure may weaken the roof, leading to collapses or other damage. Roofs generally have about a ten year lifespan. Therefore, homeowners should replace the roof as needed.
- Inspect the home’s doors, windows and ventilation systems to ensure they have proper seals. Also check the basement and attic. Sealing a home can keep pests and cold air out. It might even reduce your energy costs.
- The renter should request that the homeowner service the HVAC, chimney and electrical systems at the start of the season. Cold weather may overburden these systems, leading to breakdowns. Additionally, damaged electrical systems may increase fire risks.
As always, renters should use caution when using utility and structural systems in their home. If you notice problems in your rental, immediately notify the property owner.
Ready for Michigan renters insurance? Call Insurance Planning Service at (800) 220-5582 right now. We can help you get a fast, free policy quote.