Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your Rental Property
Preventative maintenance is very important if you own a rental property. However, first time property owners and landlords are easily intimidated because they believe it requires a lot of money, time, and skill. What they fail to realize is that taking care of a rental property is similar to maintaining your own home. Basically, you have to make sure that everything is working fine and catch the problems before they become hard to manage. Also, by inspecting your property regularly, this would give you the confidence that your tenants are greatly satisfied and you’ll be able to avoid those costly repairs in the long run.
Here are some of the most important rental property tips that you should take into consideration.
6 Preventative Care Tips for Rental Properties
1. Pest Prevention Is Crucial
As a rule of thumb your rental property should be pest-free. You don’t want your tenants to be complaining or vacating early because of pests on the property. Likewise, you shouldn’t wait for a pest infestation before you exterminate. Believe it or not, you’ll end up spending less money by simply performing precautionary measures. Think about it, if the infestation is already there you’ll end up paying more but that’s not the real problem here. It also runs the risk of having a negative business reputation. Future tenants could have second thoughts of renting your property, as they would think that it might still be suffering from an infestation. It is better to avoid that and check in with your tenants on a daily basis. Make sure that they also properly segregate the trash to avoid unwanted pests.
2. Don’t Forget to Examine the Pipes
It is your responsibility as a landlord to examine the pipes and faucets on your property. By doing so, you’ll prevent leaks you’ll be able to avoid ceiling or wall damage, as well as, mold growth. Don’t forget to check the pipes under the toilet and sink, as well as doors and windows. Make sure that there aren’t any signs of water or moisture seeping through. After a rainstorm, check the attic for any signs of water pockets and leakage.
3. Repaint the Property When It Is Needed
What is the best way to extend the life of your property? Keep it maintained. A new coat of paint could serve as a protection against moisture, and it also gives you the guarantee that your building’s exterior will be able to hold up various elements. As much as possible, don’t wait for the paint to crack before you cover it; instead, have it done as soon you can! Additionally, do your homework and try to research the different types of paint that would be ideal for interior and exterior use.
4. Don’t Neglect the Air Conditioners
As much as possible, have your air filters replaced at least twice a year- before and after summer. It will also save you from a lot of trouble if you can encourage your tenants to have their air filters replaced on a monthly basis. This would extend the life of the unit that it could last for a couple of years even with constant use.
5. Have You Checked the Dryer?
Are you aware that most residential fires that happen each year are usually the result of poor maintenance of dryers? The culprit is usually lint buildup that happens in the vent ducts. That’s why as a landlord, it’s your job to maintain the dryers to ensure that it would be safe for use and would function properly. Also, it’s a great way to save on utility bills.
6. Service the Septic System
You don’t want to be woken up by a midnight call from a frustrated tenant- nothing can be more annoying than this. The most usual complaint would be the septic system and you can save yourself from this hassle by making sure that the tank is pumped every five years or so. Keep in mind, your problem is not limited to the buildup of sludge at the bottom of your drain. It could also be the scum layer at the top that could clog up the drain field. So, better pump this out regularly.
First time landowners have a common misconception that there’s no need to do preventative maintenance as it would just mean that they’d have to spend money for repairs and replacements. Although it would really require them to spend some cash to perform these, it’s still one of the best decisions they’ll ever make. It can save them money, time, and most importantly, help them avoid future headaches.
Article by Stephen Fox of Costello Management
Apartment Building Image: Creative Commons License - Allyson Boggess