Time to Fly?
The weather outside is frightful, so you may currently be planning your escape to the sun. One of the great benefits of living in a condo is the ease of being able to just pick up and leave, whether you're going away for a weekend or joining the Snowbird population down south for a month or more. Before you leave, be sure to reference the following tips.
1. Advise your property management about any extended absences. They may require you to fill out a form to record the dates of your absence, how you can be reached in case of emergency, and the names of anyone who may be coming in to check on your place while you're away.
2. If you're only going away for a week or so, turn your water off at the main water shutoff valves. For longer absences, turn off the water but make arrangements for someone to check on your suite once a week. Ask them to turn on the water, flush the toilets and run the taps and showers, then turn off the water. Your insurance company has restrictions on coverage for long-term absences, so check with them to be sure you're following the rules in order to keep your coverage in force.
3. Turn down your thermostat to about 20°C, and ensure all windows and doors are tightly closed.
4. Stop or forward your mail, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, or have a neighbour pick it up.
5. Unplug all your electrical appliances before you leave. This will not only save energy and potentially protect your appliances in the case of a power surge, it is a fire safety procedure.
Whether you're home or not, remember that it's always your responsibility to ensure your condo is safe and well maintained.