15 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Rental Home or Apartment for Winter Break

Posted on December 17, 2014

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Elkins Apartments wants you and your place to be safe and secure, especially if you leave for winter break. Check out our list of key things to do to protect your home or apartment while away on break. You’ll be glad you did!

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HOT STUFF: Heat, Pipes, Hoses and More

  1. Leave the heat on!!

    1. Turn down heat to no lower than 65 degrees to save energy AND DON’T turn the heat off or pipes may freeze and burst damaging your residence, your belongings, or even your neighbor’s property. Note, you may find recommendations that say 60, or even a bit lower, but remember you won’t be home so by the time you find that it is too low, it is too late!This is the big one. People turn the heat off because its nice when they leave, forget to turn it on, come back and its freezing in the home and you have water (or ice) all over. Not good. Same thing happens when tenants say to themselves: “self, let’s just set it at 50, what could really happen and we will save money….” No, no you won’t…if a pipe breaks, it will cost you a whole lot of dough….
  2. Sink cabinets should be left open.

    Pipes under the kitchen and bathroom sinks are particularly vulnerable, leave the cabinet doors open to allow them to get some more heat.

  3. Open kitchen & bath vents to keep pipes warm.

    Close bedroom vents (& doors) to conserve energy. You don’t need to heat the bedrooms if you aren’t there, right? Close crawlspace openings and air vents. In cold weather, closing these (if you have them) conserves energy and lowers your bills. In warm weather, open them to allow air to circulate.

  4. Just say no to space heaters!

    Space heaters can be a fire hazard and should only be used per manufacturer instructions. Space heaters should never be left unattended.

  5. Remove hoses from outside faucets.

    Be sure the faucets are off and the hoses removed. Hoses left attached can not only wreck the hose, but can break the faucet or line.

    What if its going to be really cold and you are in town? We have a FAQ for that! Protect your Pipes!

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Safe & Secure over the Holidays

  1. Secure all windows and doors. Secure all valuables.

    Locking your windows and doors is step 1. And here’s a quick tip for trouble locking double-hung windows. Step 2, take your really valuable stuff with you. If you can’t afford to lose it, then don’t leave it. AND, especially don’t leave computers or televisions out in the open where someone can easily see it, whether at home, or in your car, because that’s just asking for someone to break in.

  2. Leave a light on, or on a timer, to improve security.

  3. Stop papers and mail.

    Papers piling up and mail falling out of your mailbox is advertising: “Hey, I’m not home, come take my stuff!”

  4. Have someone stop by periodically.

    Seriously. Have someone you know check your place from time to time. If someone does break a door or window in, and its left open, you could come home to frozen pipes and water everywhere, which would just totally make the break in worse and more expensive for you. A good idea, and it is required in your lease and policies and procedures.

    And, if you think, by any chance, you maybe, just maybe, forgot to leave the heat on and other steps to protect your pipes, because, well, maybe it was nice before you left, call someone! You so do not want to come how to a pool in your first floor, or an ice rink!

The Perils of Social Media
“Admit it: You laughed at the stupidity of gang members outed in the news for bragging about their crimes on Facebook and Twitter. So why are you sharing your travel plans on such sites for all the world to see? Duh.” – Read more in this article from USANews.

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Trees, Trees…and lights… Oh My!

  1. Don’t leave Christmas tree lights on when not home.

    Flaming trees are no fun.

  2. Ditch the tree when leaving town.

    Unattended Christmas trees can be a fire hazard. Give it away. If you have Christmas Trees, you can donate them to The Salvation Army for needy families. Otherwise, please leave your trees by the dumpster, or streetside if on city trash routes.

  3. Remove garbage & secure your Garbage and Recycle Bins.

    Leaving garbage in your unit (or near it outside) is guaranteed to bring you a nasty smell, gross mess, or friendly insects and rodents. Plus almost all of you know have those shiny garbage and recycling bins. We strongly suggest you put them securely away (and make sure you snap a pic of the numbers on it). They are your responsibility and you will be billed if they are left out or lost, which would be a total bummer, right?!

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Rent, Renew, Renters Insurance?

  1. Make your payments.

    Please remember to pay your December rent on time and bring your account up to date to avoid the $4 per day late fee. Otherwise, your wallet may be a little lighter upon your return from the holiday–and we’d much rather simply wish you a Happy New Year! We do have a drop box in the door for checks (no cash please). And you can electronically make a credit card or ACH payment. While at it, be sure you’ve paid everything else. Utilities? Anything else that might get missed while you are gone?

  2. Renew your lease for next year!

    Need a place next year? Lock yours in so you don’t have to worry about it after the New Year! If you need a different size or location, please contact us ASAP and we will be glad to get you some information. We have 1-5 bedroom houses, townhouses, and apartments.

  3.  Is your renters insurance in force?

    Renters Insurance can protect you from loss of stuff and damage to property. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. We don’t offer it, but any insurance agent can, and you can also find it online.

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Need help? Maintenance, appointments, gift ideas?

Holiday Hours Office hours may vary during the Holiday break so call first.

You can submit maintenance issues online, by calling 812.339.2859 emailing cs@elkinsapartments.com.

Emergencies: Call the main office number at 812.339.2859 and maintenance emergency option (What’s an emergency?).

Not quite ready to leave? Hanging around for the Holidays? How about ice skating at the Frank?

Thank you and have a very happy holidays from all of us at Elkins Apartments.

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