Seasonal Residents Need To Be Prepared For Departure

Many owners in the buildings we manage are seasonal residents, spending winters here in south Florida to escape the snow and cold and spending summers in their homes up North or outside the United States. These seasonal residents leave their homes here in south Florida for months at a time and these absences can have detrimental effects on their units if proper care is not taken before departing. To protect your property, and the property of your fellow owners, there are a few important steps you should take before leaving.

These steps include:

  • Make sure association management has current contact information for you and/or your local representative so that in the event of an emergency in your unit you can be contacted. Contact information needs to include a telephone number and an email address at which you can be contacted should something develop that requires your attention. This will allow the association to contact you. Make sure association management has access to a working key for your unit so that they can access the unit in the event of an emergency.
  • Have air conditioners serviced to make sure they are working properly and that A/C drain lines are clear and functioning.
  • Replace A/C filters.
  • Turn off water to ice makers, dish washers and clothes washers.
  • Arrange for someone to flush toilets and run water in sinks at least once a month, to prevent intrusion by rats and other vermin or cover drains with stoppers and duct tape and cover and seal toilets.
  • Remove all furniture, plants, and other items from patios and balconies (remember hurricanes could make these items damage your unit and those of your fellow owners).
  • Empty your refrigerator and freezer of all food and other items. Clean and turn off your refrigerator & freezer. Be sure to leave the doors to your refrigerator and freezer open.
  • Discard all unsealed food items and sealed boxed goods such as cereal, pasta & rice from kitchen cabinets.
  • Turn off and drain hot water heater.
  • Set your Air Conditioners to 80 degrees BUT DON’T TURN A/C UNITS OFF as this could result in mold growth. 
  • Close and secure all windows and doors.
  • Notify management that you will be leaving for an extended time and when you plan on returning.
  • Don't forget to forward your mail and put a stop on newspaper deliveries.