How Condo Owners Can Manage Their Homes During Summer Vacation

Posted on Thursday July 07, 2016

Summer is finally here! And if the residents in your condominium community are like so many other people throughout Alberta, their minds are on summer vacation.
While they are busy making plans to visit friends or family, lie on a beach, or head for the mountains, remind them that they also should plan for the safety and upkeep of their condo while they are away. We’ve provided a list of tips here that we hope you will share with your residents. Your condominium management company can also make suggestions that apply specifically to your community.
1. Save energy sensibly.
Consider turning off your hot water heater if no one will be home. For safety, unplug toasters, coffee makers, and toaster ovens. Save electricity by unplugging computers and printers, too. Turn off fans, lights, and other devices that don’t need to be functioning while you are away. If you use air conditioning and you won’t have any pets at home, set it to a higher temperature so it only kicks on if your home gets excessively hot.
2. Make your condo look lived in.
Don’t let a break-in end your trip on an unhappy note. Keep potential burglars at bay by not leaving telltale signs that you are away. If you have a garage, pull your car in to load suitcases so strangers can’t tell that you are going on a trip. Other “tricks” include:
  • Putting lights, TVs, etc., on a timer to mimic your usual habits
  • Temporarily stopping delivery of mail (easily managed online at and newspapers
  • Asking a friend or neighbor to park a car in your driveway
  • Changing your answering machine to pick up after only two rings and keeping the ringer volume low
You might also want to let your community manager know that you will be gone, and alert the local police if several of your neighbours will be away at the same time. Be very careful in how you use social media in the time leading up to and during your vacation. Don’t announce your trip—even if you think that only your closest family and friends can see it. Likewise, don’t post vacation pictures until you get back home.
3. Count on a trusted relative or friend.
Ideally, this should be someone who lives in your community and can get to your condo quickly. Give this person a key to your home, and ask them to check on your home periodically. Provide a phone number where they can reach you and an emergency contact in case you are out of reach. This person can also attend to pets left at home, plants, trash cans, etc., so you can have peace of mind while you’re on vacation. Of course, return the favor when they go away. And don’t forget to bring back a souvenir or other small gift to show your appreciation. A network of trusted friends within your community who will look after each other’s condos is an invaluable resource.

4. Don’t overlook maintenance.
Ask the person who is minding your condo to look around to make sure there are no leaks or other issues that need immediate attention. If you live in a home where you are responsible for outdoor maintenance, make arrangements to have someone keep your property tidy while you are away.
Thinking ahead—beginning with the tips in this article—can help make your residents’ vacation time that much more relaxing. Find out more about how a professional condominium management company can help keep your community safe and secure. Contact FirstService Residential, Alberta’s leading property management company.

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