During the holiday seasons to come, many of you may be leaving for extended periods, or even just a short time.  Please consider the following seasonal ideas, rental policies, and city requirements for energy/money saving tips, as well as things you can do to help us be more helpful and efficient:

If your rental unit well be vacant for more than 24 to 48 hours at a time:

  1. DO NOT TURN YOUR HEAT OFF!! This will cause pipes to freeze and possibly burst. Per your lease, tenants are responsible for any damages to your rental unit, and costs to correct the problem.  To avoid this, keep your heat set NO LOWER than 55 degrees while you are gone.  In buildings with multiple units where one thermostat controls the whole building, you are required to keep the heat at a comfortable temperature, and no lower than 65 degrees.  Check to see if your neighbors in the complex will be gone, and if you can turn it down during that time.  All must agree to this!
  2. Remember to shut all storm windows. This alone can double the efficiency of a window and drastically lower your heating bills.  Keep all windows and doors shut tight and locked.
  3. If you have a gas or oil forced air furnace, there is an air filter in the furnace that should be changed approximately once per month.  Changing a furnace filter is easy, cheap, promotes efficiency, and it is your responsibility.  For a few dollars per filter, you can insure that you will have a reliable, efficient furnace (you will get many times more than the cost of the filter back in lower heating costs).
  4. For those units where we do the snow plowing, please do your best to move vehicles out of the lot/driveway so we may do the best possible job of clearing the snow. The city requires you to be on the correct side of the street between midnight and 5 pm during a declared “snow event”, so if you can move your car to the street, please park accordingly to avoid being ticketed or plowed in.  Unfortunately, we are unable to give you warning of when we will be able to plow, but we will do the best we can if there are cars left in the lots.  Please have someone move your car for you if you won’t be home to do so.  Keep in mind that Mail Carriers will not deliver mail where the walk/steps are covered in snow or ice.  They also call the city to inform of those not complying with city snow/ice requirements.  Do your best to make their job safe!
  5. If your unit will be completely vacant for more than a few days, you may want to consider having your mail stopped during that time. This will also help prevent others from noticing that no one is there.  You can go to usps.com and select the “hold mail” tab to complete the request.
  6. If you live where it is the tenant’s responsibility to remove the snow and ice, the City of Eau Claire requires this be done within 24 hours of snowfall to avoid being fined and charged for doing it on your behalf.  Sand for slippery sidewalks can be picked up free of charge at the Central Maintenance Facility, 911 Forest Street. The sand is kept outside of the gated area and can be picked up anytime at your convenience. Bring your own container and a shovel.  Each residence is limited to a 5-gallon pail.
  7. For the City of Eau Claire’s Snow and Ice Control information, visit their website at http://www.ci.eau-claire.wi.us/departments/public-works/street-maintenance/snow-and-ice-control

We hope these tips are helpful to each of you.  If you have other questions, please call our office for help.  Our office is normally open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  During the holidays, we will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.  Check out our website for more information and resources at www.cwree.com.  If you have maintenance EMERGENCY, please call 715-559-8800 during non-business hours only.