Alas, Fall is upon us. Complaints were a little scarce this month so you all will have to endure advice and warnings from the OLD GUY who has been through many, many Winters. First of all, mark your calendar as to when you will want to shut off ALL of your outdoor water sources. You will want to shut them off INSIDE THE HOUSE, then open the taps to drain any water in the pipes. If you don’t do this, the water in the pipe will freeze & split the pipe and you will get a nasty surprise when you turn on the water in the Spring. Make sure you have tools handy for the first snow fall.  Shovels, ice choppers, rock salt or ice melt. Too early, you say. About 30 years ago, we had a doozy of a snow storm (Close to blizzard) in, YES October ! With leaves on trees, it brought many of them down, knocking out power and phones etc. Early preparations may seem premature, however, a small shovel and some rock salt in your car can really come in handy. Also it is time to  schedule tune ups for your heating systems, cleaning, changing filters. All these things will prevent grief and malfunctions down the road. Alert your tenants as to where the supplies and equipment are located in case you are not around when bad weather arrives.

Rural Rensselaer county has a feline problem.

I rent a B&B furnished mostly for extended periods (No less than a week preferably more). Anyway this last couple stayed a month. The agreement said in plain English NO PETS OF ANY KIND. Since I was away on business most of the month, they thought taking in a lost cat (Just until the owner turned up they said) would be ok. Well, it was not! The cat did not like my B&B one little bit. It was an unfixed male. By the time I got them out of there, the cat managed to mark a lot of territory. Drapes, slip covers throw rugs, towels and bath mats all stink. Some things I had to throw out, but I have quite a bit of washable stuff that I hope to salvage, I washed them once and there is still a slight odor.

Mac says: I hope you had a good sized security deposit. Try this: Do some small loads and put in one cup of vinegar along with your regular detergent. Also, put one cup in the rinse cycle.

A little bit of personal hygiene to preserve domestic tranquility.

My wife complains about the black grease on my hands that I get from working on motors. Yes, that’s what I do for my landlord at his apt. complex. There is nothing other than hand soap to wash up with, thus the grubby hands.

Mac says: Bring a small personal size can of WD 40 and a small bottle of Dawn dish soap to work with you. Spray your hands with the WD40, rub them a bit, then put some Dawn on your hands and rub a bit. Rinse, if necessary wash with Dawn again if all the WD does not come off. Dry with paper towels, since the black grease will stain cloth towels.

Downtown Rensselaer has an old problem with an easy solution.

I have a four family house with a common hallway for all the apartments. There are 2 light fixtures on each of the 4 landings. My tenants keep stealing the light bulbs for their own use. They are not smart enough to put their old burnt out bulbs in so I won’t suspect they stole them.

Mac says: Put yellow bug lights in the hallway. If they are foolish enough to take them, at least you will know who did it. Yellow light stands out.

See you next month.