This winter, No Frozen Pipes!! A single water pipe can easily create thousands of dollars in property damage. The easiest way to prevent this is to have a property that is fully occupied with responsible tenants, all of which have utilities in the tenant's name and heat set above 50 degrees in every unit.
Preventative Maintenance helps!
Heat wrap insulated tape on exposed water pipes can help.
Also, make sure to use insulated expanding foam to fill any building leaks that allow air or moisture into building or near piping.
Avoid Frozen Pipes!
According to our property manager standard operating procedures, "A new tenant must have his/her utility setup/proof of utlities prior to receiving keys. Verification can be provided by means of a receipt from the utility company or a verifying phone call to the same.
Enough with Frozen Pipes!
It is your job as owner/manager to make sure your property has no frozen pipes. You must verify that each tenant has the heat turned on. If a unit is vacant, you need to make arrangements with the utility company to have the utlities turned on in the property name and you should personally verify that the heat is working and set above 50 degrees. The all-around best solution is to have your property 100% occupied.
HINT: Another trick I have learned, is for example, let's say the forecast calls for an evening of below zero temps (wind chill, etc), then leave a pencil lead thin line of water running from the sink and, believe me, the cost of that water will be dramatically less then frozen pipes!