Hurricane Dorian hit Canadian East coast hard early September and its passage impacted about 300 000 homes. We often know what to put in our emergency kit and how to protect ourselves, but protecting our homes and contents is not as obvious. The cost of repairing a damaged property can be as incapacitating as paying medical bills. Read our pieces of advice on how to minimize threats to your property and reduce your repair bills. 

On a yearly basis 

As a landlord, it is in your best interest to protect the property you are renting and make sure natural disasters will impact it minimally. If your property isn’t inhabitable after the storm, you will lose money from vacant house and major repair costs. You can share responsibilities on preparing the property for a storm with your tenant, have a written agreement about it. 

Material preparing 

You will have to make some adjustments around the house and work all year round to improve your property’s resistance to natural disasters. Some of those things can be done by your tenant. 

  • Have shutters and good windows: fragile windows can break and let the wind enter your property which can wreck havoc and tear your roof from the inside. To avoid this situation, replace your windows with stronger material and/or having shutters to reduce wind contact. 
  • Take care of your roof: damaged shingles will induce leaks and even let the wind get in.. You should inspect your roof every year (if there are no visible problems) to repair or replace your damaged shingles
  • Prune your trees: dead branches or trees could be easily taken in the wind and/or fall onto your property, and this would be a major hit to your bank account. 
  • Clean your gutters: the water must be flowing freely or it will most likely leak in your property
  • Seal doors and windows:  to avoid any wind or water infiltration 
  • Anchor outdoor fixtures or bring them in a secure place: the grill, the swing and decorative elements in your garden which could turn into dangerous projectiles 

Immaterial preparing 

You also need to make sure everything is in order legally and insurance wise so that in case something bad happens, you can react promptly

  • Make copies of all your property documents or better yet scan them and upload them to the cloud: if you have to make any sorts of legal procedures, it’s going to be way easier 
  • Take photos: just before the storm hits, take pictures of your property, of different fixtures so that you can prove the storm has damaged your property
  • Check your insurance contract: make sure it is going to cover you thoroughly and it is best adapted to your situation (if you have a cellar you might need additional coverage for water damage for example). Get a quote with APRIL Rental and have nearly tailor-made insurance for your property