The RentSeeker Real-Estate Blog

News and tips for Canada's renters, home buyers, home sellers and property managers.

4 Mar 2013

If you are lucky, you’ll soon be escaping the cold, Canadian winter for a week-long tropical vacation. According to Stats Canada, 74% of Canadian adults (18 million people) take vacations that last

If you are lucky, you’ll soon be escaping the cold, Canadian winter for a week-long tropical vacation. According to Stats Canada, 74% of Canadian adults (18 million people) take vacations that last more than one night, and many of those vacations take place during the December to March deep freeze. While it’s tempting to pack quickly and forget about the cold, it’s important to prepare your apartment for your departure.
Preparing your Apartment Rental while on Vacation

Secure Windows and Doors:

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to forget something as simple as locking a window when you are excited to leave for a well-deserved break. An unlocked window can, of course, lead to break-ins, but there is another problem – cold air. In the winter, cold air can easily seep in through unlocked window cracks causing a myriad of problems for you and your neighbours. If it is a particularly cold, your unlocked window may be the cause of pipes freezing in the building or unpleasant drafts into neighbouring suites. Double check your windows and sliding doors before you leave, and make sure the deadbolt on your front door is secured before walking away.

Set Temperature:

As mentioned above, if you leave your apartment in the dead of winter without any heat running you can run the risk of causing severe problems for yourself and your fellow tenants. It might seem like a good idea to turn your thermostat off completely in order to save yourself money, but it’s wiser to set the temperature very low so the heat will have an opportunity to come if it is particularly frigid in your apartment. Prevent freezing pipes! Your neighbours and landlord will thank you.

Tell Your Neighbours

Speaking of your neighbours, it is a good idea to let a trusted neighbour know that you will be out town for vacation. Ask them to pick up any newspapers that may be piling up in front of your door that could alert thieves to the fact that you are not home. You may even wish to give them a spare key so they can check on your apartment periodically and pick up your mail. They will also be able to watch if anyone unfamiliar tries to get into the apartment. If you have asked a friend or family member to watch your apartment instead, let the neighbour across the hall know so they will not be surprised to see a different face.

Looking for some extra tips on keeping your apartment protected while you’re away? Here are some tips from www.wikihow.com:

1. Make sure it appears you are home while you’re away. Light and moderate noise may deter burglars: Use light switched timers to realistically simulate occupancy and leave shades and blinds as you usually do.
2. Connect an old, analog type television or radio (modern, electronic ones come on in standby mode — not in playing mode), or burglar deterrent CD recordings with a schedule-able player with timers.
3. Try keeping screens fastened from within, but it is “child’s-play” to slit them open before pushing window glass in with a pad of some kind.
4. Form a neighborhood crime watch with the assistance of your local police department. Team work, cooperation, common sense can help make or break a neighborhood. Report anything suspicious.
5. Arrange to have a neighbor pick up your mail, circulars and newspapers when you are on vacation. If that isn’t possible, cancel all deliveries, including newspapers. Arrange with your post office to hold your mail or leave it with a neighbor.
6. Never advertise your departure. This may be easier said then done, especially for those who often share personal information on social networking sites (such as Facebook and Twitter).
If you have an alarm system, set it and let the alarm company know that you will be out of town for a specific amount of time. It is also wise to let them know if you have authorized anyone to come into your home while you are away.

Taking the steps above will allow you to relax on your tropical vacation, knowing that your home is safe and secure. Now don’t forget that sunscreen!

The RentSeeker.ca Team