Checklist for Leaving your Rental for the Holidays
It’s that time of the year again, where family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year. For many of us, that means taking a road or air trip to spend time with family and loved ones. If you’re currently renting an apartment or corporate housing, we suggest a few quick things to add to your to-do list before you start your journey. Apartment communities and corporate housing offers easy, maintenance-free living but you still want to make sure your apartment, your belongings and your car are safe during your vacation.
I. Read your lease for pre-vacation procedures. In many cases, lease agreements provide a detailed checklist of items they want you to complete before your trip. Read over the information and make sure you let your landlord or leasing office know exactly when you’re leaving and when you’ll be back, as well as include contact information while you’re away. Also include a list of a close family member or friend, preferably who you’re staying with, so they have an alternate contact in case you have limited access to email and voicemail.
II. Protect your vehicle while you’re away. If you’re taking a road trip in your car, then skip to the next section. But if you’re parking your car at your apartment community during your vacation, then prepare ahead by taking all valuables out of the car, roll up the windows and lock the doors. A recent Lexington statistic stated that more than half of vehicle thefts take place in automobiles that have been left unlocked. Don’t park your car in a prime spot while you’re not there to enjoy it but make sure you park your car where it is visible and in a well-lit section of the parking lot. Ask your leasing office for suggestions if unsure.
III. Put your mail on hold. It’s easier than ever because you can set your mail on hold by filling a form online at USPS.com [Click here to see if your address is available for hold.] You can go to the post office to pick up the accumulated mail when you return or have it delivered on the date you select. All accumulated mail will be bundled together in a large packet when delivered upon your return. If you haven’t done so already, arrange for your bills to be paid online. Scheduling automatic withdrawals from your bank account will ensure you never miss a payment.
IV. Make arrangements for your pet. Most apartment communities have strict rules on leaving a pet for long periods of time. Get references for local animal boarding and make sure to make boarding reservations well in advance to your trip, especially during the holidays. To make your pet comfortable, pack their food, favorite treats, toys, blanket or bed. Print out a detailed list of what kind of food and what time of day your pet eats, as well as instructions for medications.
V. Make your apartment energy-efficient during your leave. Adjust your thermostat before you leave so you can save money and energy. Keep in between 80 and 85 degrees during the summer, and 60 and 65 degrees during the winter. That will keep your utility bill in check without cutting down on heat and humidity in the summer as well as preventing from the pipes to freeze during the winter. In Spring and Fall, you may be able to turn the thermostat off altogether, but check the weather forecasts first. Unplug all electronics if possible, because even if they are turned off, they can still be consuming energy even if they’re off.
VI. Ask a trusted friend to check on your apartment. Ask them to check on your apartment, pick up mail or newspapers if you didn’t put them on hold, water your plants, and make it look like someone is home at your apartment, which can deter thefts. Another way to make the apartment look ‘lived in’ is using a time, so put a lamp or two on a 24-hour plug-in timer (they are less than $5 at Home Depot or Lowes).
VII. Consider a Home Security Camera. There are many well-rated indoor security cameras that can easily be installed and uninstalled in your apartment. Apartment buildings and complexes house large, continually changing populations of residents who may be strangers to each other. The risk of theft and vandalism can be high. A properly designed system of apartment security cameras can foster a secure living environment for all residents. IP security cameras are easy to install yourself, and unlike analog CCTV cameras, you can choose where to put your cameras and reconfigure them according to your needs – no appointments, ladders, or power tools necessary.
VII. Clean your apartment thoroughly. Not only is it nice to return to a tidy home, you’re prepared if the leasing staff have to enter your apartment for any maintenance issues while you’re away. Wash and put away dishes, laundry, vacuum and mop, clean out your refrigerator and pantry of any perishable food, and take out your garbage so you’re not greeted with offensive odors when you return. Better yet, hire a cleaning service*. You’ll have enough to do when you return so you don’t want to have to clean your apartment when you’re getting back to your routine.
VIII. If you have any issues while you’re away or after you return, contact the leasing office immediately. If you return to find your property or automobile has been stolen or damaged, don’t hesitate to call the leasing office after you call the police. If you suspect foul play while you’re away, call them immediately. If you’re using Lexington Relocation for your corporate housing or temporary housing needs, call us immediately for any issue (859.273.3303) or question while you’re away.
The staff at Lexington Relocation wish all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
*Lexington Relocation includes Cleaning & Laundry Service with our corporate housing rentals. Our apartments are cleaned by caring employees of Lexington Relocation, not an outside cleaning agency who is paid by the job. Our in-house linen facility means you will always have fresh linens delivered to you on the day of your apartment cleaning.