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How property managers can help their tenants avoid the top winter claims

Posted by Hayleigh Smith | Rentals

It’s that time of year again. You’re beginning to dust off your cozy sweaters, boots and cold-weather gear, preparing for the highs and lows of another Canadian winter. Now you may be thinking, “Isn’t it a bit early to bring up winter?”

We get it, winter can be a sensitive topic for a lot of Canadians; however, in Duuo fashion, we like to be one step ahead of the game. 

In this blog, we’re listing the top tenant insurance claims of the frosty season and ways you can help your tenants avoid them! 

Let’s get into it, shall we?

1. Kitchen fires

Winter chills call for indoor thrills, a.k.a. it’s too cold to leave the house so you have to make your own fun at home! In the colder months, many people decide to cook from home more often, which brings us to one of the most common claims of the season: kitchen fires. 

To ensure tenants avoid out-of-hand flames this season, provide them with these tips:

  1. This one’s pretty obvious, but just in case, remind your tenants to keep a fire extinguisher in a well-known and easily accessible place in their unit.
  2. From holiday parties to a simple dinner for one, people sometimes forget how long their food is supposed to cook for (or that it was even in the oven in the first place). Remind your tenants to set a timer for food and to keep an eye on the stove

2. Stolen sports equipment

To be fair, Canadian winters aren’t all that bad! Why? Because we manage to make the most of the weather with a variety of winter sports/activities. Hockey, snowboarding, tobogganing, skiing, you name it. However, taking your winter gear out of the box it was buried in for the last few months comes with its downsides, specifically when it comes to theft. 

To avoid your tenants’ snazzy sports stuff getting into the wrong hands, provide them with these tips:

  1. Tip number 1 is to remind tenants to not leave their sports equipment in their cars for a long period of time. People snooping around the parking lot will take the chance of breaking into a vehicle if they have to for a brand new snowboard!
  2. If your tenants use an outdoor storage locker, ensure they get a secure lock or bring their equipment into their units to avoid thefts altogether.

3. Break-ins and vehicle thefts

Further to sports equipment, the holiday season is a popular time for theft and break-ins in general. From holiday shopping to winter birthdays, thieves know people will be making more frequent trips to stores, giving the perfect opportunity to try and take what isn’t theirs.

To ensure your tenants aren’t one of those unlucky people, share these tips with them:

  1. For thieves, leaving holiday shopping bags and other personal items in a vehicle is like taking candy from a baby – way too easy! Ensure your tenants bring valuable and/or personal items inside.
  2. If your tenants have windows that can easily be looked into, ensure they put their personal belongings far away from the window, that way, their units become less intriguing to break into.

4. Freezing

As we know, Canadian winters can get quite cold (a little too cold if you ask us). As a result, structures of homes and buildings are prone to freezing over or even breaking from all of the pressure! 

Here’s what your tenants can do to avoid the potential outcomes of a ferocious freeze:

  1. A very common winter claim is failing radiator supply lines, in other words, the heater crashed! Our general advice here is to ensure your tenants know to report to you (their landlord) and to never lower their unit temperature below 15 degrees Celsius
  2. Although it’s cold outside, sometimes the indoors can get a little too stuffy. So, tenants may leave the windows open during the day or when they leave for the evening, resulting in their pipes freezing by the time they get home. Ensure tenants remember to close their windows after at least an hour of being open to avoid this!
  3. If your tenants plan to leave for extended periods, ensure they remember to close their windows before they leave, or have someone check in during their absence.

5. Icey slips and falls

I’m sure a lot of us Canadians can say we’ve had a not-so-fun mishap involving our feet, a patch of ice, and slipping in the least graceful way possible. To help tenants avoid this from happening to themselves or others, take into account the following:

  1. For landlords who manage homes with front steps, ensure tenants understand their responsibilities vs. yours as it relates to clearing snow, putting down salt and whether you supply the required equipment. Send them this blog to get started!

We hope we didn’t cause too much of a bummer heading into the colder season, the goal of this blog is simply to prepare you for the unexpected (as we insurance folks do)! With that said, bookmark this blog in your browser to refer to when helping your tenants avoid treacherous territory this frosty season. 

For more information on tenant insurance and how Duuo works with property managers, shoot us an email at partnerships@duuo.ca!

About the author

Hayleigh Smith
Hayleigh is Duuo’s Content Marketing Specialist. When she’s not managing Duuo’s social media, writing blogs, and developing marketing content, you can find her sketching, practicing her tattoo skills, or listening to music!