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What Every Landlord Needs to Know About Maintenance

Owning a rental property is a massive investment that yields returns depending on how you approach maintenance. Proper maintenance attracts tenants and earns more income. However, poor maintenance can devalue the house, make tenants vacate, and lead to loss of rental income, warns Pillar Property Management.

Some landlords think property maintenance is costly and time-consuming, but it can save money on the rental’s operational costs. Also, quality maintenance helps attract quality tenants and keeps them leasing the property longer.

Maintenance is the third biggest issue landlords encounter after the loss of rental income and tenant problems. Different landlords have various maintenance methods they prefer for their property. Some even see maintenance as a burden and avoid it until it becomes a significant problem.

Despite this, some landlords have discovered a hack on rental property maintenance. This has helped them solve most of their maintenance issues. They now have a system that offers them a complete overview of their rental property’s maintenance needs and know ways to follow up on those problems. With that in place, they no longer have to worry about maintenance issues.

Effective ways to maintain your rental property

Below are proven methods you can use to keep up with your rental property maintenance:

1. Create a comprehensive maintenance checklist

Create a comprehensive maintenance checklist

Most maintenance issues in rental properties are predictable. Only very few of them happen by accident. Because of the workload on landlords, they need to remember essential maintenance issues on their rental property.

However, having a comprehensive checklist will help you keep up with all aspects of the maintenance so that you don’t encounter preventable emergencies. Below is a sample maintenance checklist for rental properties:

  • Inspect and clean the roof yearly
  • Inspect and clean the gutter system and downspouts
  • Inspect the basement, crawlspace, and attic
  • Regular pest extermination
  • HVAC system maintenance: Inspection, air filter replacement, and water heater flushing
  • Inspect doors and windows; check seals, hinges, screws, and knobs
  • Inspect plumbing systems for leaks or wear and tear
  • Trim or remove tree limbs close to power lines, roof, or foundation
  • Every 3 to 5 years, repaint the interior and exterior
  • Replace accessories that have wear and tear
  • Re-caulk bathrooms and shower areas to prevent molds
  • Test fire extinguishers, CO2, and smoke detectors

2. Engage in routine inspection and maintenance

Engage in routine inspection and maintenance

Having a checklist and a different issue to follow up with it appropriately is one thing. We advise that you perform inspections and routine maintenance systematically and according to standards. With that, you will follow a step-by-step format that ensures you get all the benefits. Also, it will help you set up preventive measures at the right time before issues arise.

For instance, routine inspections and maintenance occur at the end of each season and before the following season. Other maintenance may be bimonthly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Some seasonal tasks include:

Winter maintenance

  • Ensure that doors and windows have intact seals
  • Prune or remove harmful trees
  • Winterize your plumbing system
  • Educate tenants on preventing frozen pipes by aerating under the sink and keeping faucets running at very low temperatures

Spring Maintenance

  • Clean the property’s exterior (power wash the pathways, driveways, and walls)
  • Maintain the lawn and trim your trees
  • Inspect the roof, gutters, and downspout
  • Inspect the sidings
  • Prepare the HVAC system for summer

Summer maintenance

  • Check the sprinkler system
  • Remove all fire hazards from trees, flowers, and grasses
  • Check fire pits and grills
  • Ready the pool
  • Inspect and prepare all outdoor amenities

Autumn maintenance

  • Perform safety checks: look for slippery fixtures and surfaces
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Inspect the roof and attic insulation
  • Block all entry points for pests
  • Check exterior caulking

3. Involve your tenants in the process

Involve your tenants in the process

Your renters are the ones who have direct and regular contact with the property. It would be best to involve them in the maintenance process. They should know what to do if they start noticing certain things that can give rise to issues. Doing so will help you respond promptly before such problems escalate.

To achieve this, you need to educate your tenants about the property’s maintenance. Let them know the tasks they need to do weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly and the consequences of not doing so. It is also advisable to include most of these maintenance clauses in the tenancy agreement so that they can keep up with their responsibilities.

Despite regular inspection and maintenance, a few emergencies may still occur in rental properties. You have to be prepared for this. You can prevent these issues from degenerating by having a correct procedure for reporting and requesting emergency repairs.

Let renters know the fastest way to reach you when emergencies happen. The reporting process should be easy for your tenants, and you should have a rapid response system in place.

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