BY MARILYN WILSON, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN September 4, 2014If you bought into the condo lifestyle to have less property ownership responsibilities, that’s a worthwhile idea.
Condos have less outdoor maintenance and are easier to maintain from afar, especially those with a concierge.
But condo owners still have responsibilities that you should consider before you leave on your next trip: Although condo living affords easier travel than a home lifestyle, it’s not as simple as lock and go.
Bring your keys
This is rule No. 1. Don’t assume someone else will let you into the building such as the concierge or a neighbour.
Travel delays may get you home in the wee hours when no one is around or awake.
While you might not want to travel with a bulky key ring, like the one with your car keys on it, you will need your building key and your door key at the very least.
Keep it clean
Though we’re often in a rush when we leave on trips, taking the time to tidy up before you go is a great way to ensure you’re stress free when you get home.
After a fabulous trip, the last thing you’ll want to do is return to work and real life. Make the transition easier by organizing, cleaning and putting clean sheets on your bed before you leave.
A lingering odour
Before you leave, remember to throw out your trash. There’s nothing worse than returning home to a peculiar smell that can take quite some time to locate and get rid of.
In the same vein as the trash advice: throw out your perishables before you go. Maybe you won’t have time to dine before you dash, but it’s important you throw out things that will be rotten by the time you get back. This is key if you’re leaving for weeks or months at a time. I mean, have you ever seen a mouldy cucumber? Yuck.
Tap into it
“Read your insurance policy thoroughly as far as condominium coverage is concerned,” says condo resident Sylvia Milne, offering her best advice on pre-travel preparation. “As each insurance policy is different, my best advice is that you read it line by line to know what your responsibilities are, and how noncompliance would affect your coverage, before you leave town.”
You’ll likely be responsible, for instance, if you’re away for more than 48 hours and there is damage from water pipes that have been left on. One reader, who loves his one-year-old condo, does have an issue in this regard: he cannot reach water taps that are behind his stacked washer and dryer.
He should get in touch with the condo board to have them make the taps accessible to residents. Although this condo is only one year old, the planning stages of the building took years and it was built before new insurance rule came into effect. And it’s key that each homeowner is able to comply with this insurance stipulation.
Mail and visitors
Don’t forget to stop the mail if you will be away for a long time; packages and newspapers will pile up quickly. You may also want to arrange for a visitor to ensure that everything is going well in your condo. Like a home, a condo requires some tending and a visitor can check for leaks, bring in bills and other mail and turn on lights for you, if you feel the need.
Taking care of these things before you go will help ensure you come back to your condo sweet condo.
Marilyn Wilson has been selling real estate for more than 24 years and owns Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties Inc. Brokerage, an Exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. She can be reached through dreamproperties.com.