Eaves Cleaning for the Property Owner

For the homeowner and landlord alike, cleaning eaves or gutters falls into 2 approaches.  One homeowner will wait until there is a blockage or issue with eaves while the other will opt for regular cleaning and maintenance scheduling.  For the landlord cleaning eaves can be misunderstood in terms of approach, responsibility, and importance.  Some landlords may think that it is a tenant's job to have this done, but this is not often the case.  Typically it falls to the landlord to ensure proper care and upkeep of the property including exterior of the structure.  Items like yard care and snow removal often are tenant responsibilities, but cleaning eaves is most often not and here's why.

For your average homeowner and from a liability standpoint if you climb a ladder to clean your eaves and have an injury, the parties involved in such action are yourself and....yourself.  When you have a tenant climb a ladder on your property to clean eaves as you have asked them to and they fall and injure themselves, you are now facing an array of possibilities and potentially complicated and costly outcomes.  A key objective of EMC Property Management is to protect our clients against such risk by preventing these scenarios.  For this reason we would always err on the side of caution.  

Cleaning eaves requires special equipment and skills that many homeowners and tenants alike to not possess.  While it is easy for anyone to grab a rake and clean up leaves, it is not so straightforward to climb a ladder and clean eaves.  We have found that eaves cleaning is not a typical tenant responsibility in practice and in the spirit of the Residential Tenancies Act.  Similar items might include painting, house washing, and tree pruning. 

The question for homeowner and landlord is whether to be reactive or proactive in eaves maintenance.  EMC suggests cleaning eaves once a year for rental properties to keep things running smoothly.  Depending on the surroundings and how many tall trees you might have surrounding the property, there may be greater needs than this.  There are always unexpected variables like an unhealthy tree shedding excessive pine cones or needles or the like, but yearly maintenance is typically enough.  The other question is when.  We would suggest either in spring or late fall as good times to schedule eaves cleaning.  The industry of property management has typically fallen in the reactive category of this maintenance, but it is up to the landlord/home owner to decide how they want to approach this.



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