As the winter season approaches, some items of maintenance need to be addressed immediately to prevent damage to the properties which may result in expenses to the tenants. Most of these items are addressed in your lease as “Tenant Obligations”. Please refer to your lease for a complete list of responsibilities. Some of these items may not apply to each property. If you are not sure, please contact us. We recognize that this is a lot of information but please know that this is provided for your benefit.

All smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors (if present) must be working at all times.

Please check to make sure that your batteries are plugged in and in working order. If you have non-functioning detectors, it is your responsibility to report them to our office. Replacement of the battery is the responsibility of the tenant. If you do not have adequate detector protection, please notify us immediately.

Furnace filters must be changed at least every two months but we suggest monthly.

This helps increase the efficiency of the heating and air conditioning systems. Failure to change filters may result in creating higher utility costs and could cause permanent damage to the system resulting in a charge to the tenant. Changing the filter is a tenant responsibility. If you cannot locate the filter, if you have a Heat Pump and need additional operation information or if you have a gas furnace, and do not have a carbon monoxide detector, please notify PPMI.

Gutters need to be kept free of leaves/debris at all times.

This time of the year gutters should be cleaned monthly as it is Fall and leaves are now dropping.This helps the water to flow freely in the downspouts, away from the foundation which keeps basements dry; wet basements lead to mildew. If basements should get wet due to clogged gutters, this would be a tenant responsibility. Failure to clean gutters can also result in gutter damage. Please check or have your gutters checked at least once a month until all leaves have fallen. Remember, this needs to be done in the Spring as well due to the new growth on the trees. It is our recommendation to hire a professional to clean the gutters. We suggest Precision Gutters at 703.860.2817 for gutter cleaning.

All fallen leaves should properly removed and disposed of.

With Fall comes leaves. Some properties have more leaves than others. Regardless, the leaves need to be removed from the property. This may need to be done several times. Leaves should be raked off the grass and removed from bushes and flower beds. Outside heating/cooling units should be free of weeds, vines, leaves, trash, etc. Patios, decks, balconies, storage or utility closets should be swept and cleared of debris. Trim all vines and do not let vines grow anywhere on houses, sheds, fences, brick, wood, siding, trees and/or bushes. Leaves must be removed and disposed of properly. Depending on where you live, the county or your trash company may have special days and instructions for proper disposal. Please make sure any exterior drains/stairwells are clear of any leaves as this can cause basement flooding.

Hose bibs (outside faucets) will burst if they are not winterized properly.

The outside water faucets need to be drained so that the water line does not freeze. The water valves for the outside faucets are located inside the house usually on the lowest level. In townhouses the rear exterior shut off is often under the kitchen sink. There are usually separate valves for the front and rear faucets. Turn the water valve off on the inside. Then go outside and turn the water faucet on to drain any water in the line. If you need assistance in finding them, please call our office. Again, frozen pipes are a tenant responsibility!

If you have plans to leave the area for any length of time during the winter, please remember to leave your heat set to at least 60 degrees.

If bathrooms or kitchens have pipes located on outside walls, while you are away, leave your cabinet doors open so heat can still get to the pipes. Please remember that you are required to notify our office if you plan to be away from the property for more than 14 days. We suggest you have a neighbor, friend or family member checking your home frequently while you are away.

Check the bathroom area to make sure that the caulk around the tub/shower, tile area and sink is in good condition.

It is the tenant’s responsibility to maintain the caulk in good, clean condition. If the caulk is missing or has mildew and will not come clean, it must be removed and new caulk must be installed. Installing new caulk over the existing caulking will NOT be acceptable. Be sure to use bathroom caulk, specifically for tub and shower areas. If you are not sure what to use or how to replace the caulk, please contact PPMI.

If your home has a wood burning fireplace or stove, and you plan on using it this year, please remember to have it inspected and cleaned if necessary.

Please be careful of the type of wood you use in your fireplace as some wood is better than others. Fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected every few years. If you recently moved in, it is likely that your fireplace was inspected prior to the previous tenant vacating. If you would like to verify please call us at PPMI. If you would like a recommendation of who to use feel free to call us as well. Please remember do not stack wood against, inside or near the house or garage as that may create a termite problem.

Remember to shovel snow and remove ice from all stairs, driveways and walkways.

If using snow/ice melting products, please do not use salt as it deteriorates concrete.

If you have questions about any of the above items or other maintenance concerns, please feel free to call the office at 703.281.0311 or e-mail us at As a reminder, email is not monitored on the weekend. If you have a maintenance issue you believe is an emergency on the weekend or after regular business hours, please call the emergency line at 703-655-5473.