Even the most beautiful and grand rental property will require consistent maintenance. Ensuring that your property retains its value over a long period of time requires dedication and an understanding of what upkeep residential buildings require.
Landlords have two main types of maintenance to deal with: periodic maintenance and preventative maintenance. Periodic maintenance is based around creating a particular schedule to conduct property maintenance and inspections. Preventative maintenance is more proactive and checks important parts and areas of the rental property thoroughly, to prevent unexpected issues.
A preventative approach to property maintenance can lead to far lower expenses in the long run. By nipping potential problems in the bud and staying on top of normal wear and tear, you can remedy issues while they are cheap, straight-forward fixes, rather than complicated, expensive problems.
For example, being quick to spot water damage will save you from the high costs of repairing the many aspects of a property that water damage can affect. This is why it’s advisable to perform preventative maintenance as often as you can.
Here are Some Important Maintenance Tips for Landlords
Inspect for Water Damage and Leaks
Leaks can be subtle, but water damage can wreck big-time havoc in your rental property. Considering its potential for massive expenses, landlords need to set aside time to locate areas where water damage can occur.
This is especially important after heavy rainstorms, after the winter season, and during humid summers. Be thorough when checking vulnerable areas such as roofs, ceilings, and walls. Be sure to check with particular care near water sources such as the kitchen, laundry room, basement, and bathroom.
Another unfortunate consequence of water damage is that it can exacerbate the presence of mold. Mold growth is both unhealthy and unsightly. It reduces the appeal of your home and can discourage prospective renters.
The best way to combat mold is by being alert to water leaks. Rather than squandering money on preventable expenses, you’ll be better off paying a more negligible amount on upkeep.
Clean the Gutters
Gutters are exposed to the elements, so they stand a good chance of building up blockages. Dead leaves may cause blockages, especially if your property has plenty of trees located near the roof. During windy days, your gutter can easily fill up with debris.
When gutters are blocked, water can’t flow easily. This can lead to any number of water problems, including leaks. The water will find other pathways and cause damage along walls, windows, and roofs.
To prevent this kind of scenario, it’s essential to clean gutters regularly, especially during autumn season. Cleaning the gutters can be a precarious activity so it’s best to be cautious. Better yet, hire a professional to ensure your safety. You can also opt to install gutter guards to eliminate the issue of gutter blockage.
Change HVAC Filters
Some renters are conscientious when it comes to changing HVAC filters. This is practical, since it’s a preventative measure that benefits them, too.
Changing HVAC filters helps to lengthen the normal wear and tear of your cooling and heating systems. It’s advisable to change the filters every 6 months. Doing so will increase efficiency and helps in the reduction of utility bills.
Another benefit to changing HVAC filters is health-related. If filters are old, renters will breathe in contaminated air. The AC or heater can also potentially malfunction. This can require replacement or higher repair costs.
You’ll also need to hire a professional to clean the units. The worst case scenario is if it breaks down during a sweltering summer or a freezing winter season. If your rental unit is pet-friendly, changing filters more often is also advisable. Part of creating a detailed lease is being sure to specify who is responsible for changing filters.
Pet hair can get trapped in the HVAC systems, leading to potential damage or allergies for some tenants.
Conduct Pest Prevention
Pest prevention services can help you avoid potential pest problems. Even if no tenant has raised the issue of infestation, a preventative extermination can protect you from unexpected visitors.
Neglecting this type of maintenance can result in termites and rodents proliferating your rental unit. Not only is it inconvenient and expensive, it can also drive tenants away.
The damages that pest infestations can cause can be stressful, especially if the property’s foundation is compromised. In this situation, you might even need to temporarily move the tenants out to fix your property and limit accidents. You may be better off conducting regular preventative exterminations.
Attend to the Landscaping
Make sure to maintain your property’s curb appeal by taking care of the greenery. The grass must be trimmed and weeds pulled out. A beautiful home can look even more captivating if the landscaping is given adequate attention.
If you don’t have the time, you can always hire a gardener. Their expertise will make a big difference, and you can schedule monthly or weekly work.
You don’t need to be an expert to keep your property well-landscaped. Keep the plants healthy by regular watering. Trim the bushes and clear out any extensive tree branches that can potentially affect electric lines and cause accidents.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
This activity will help tenants greatly during disasters. You’ll want to make sure your units’ detection devices are working in peak condition. Check batteries and test frequently, since this is part of every landlord’s responsibility.
In fact, landlords are legally obliged to perform regular testing so that in the unfortunate circumstance that a fire breaks out or carbon monoxide leaks out, your tenants can be saved. Be sure to monitor the expiry of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The former needs to be replaced in 10 years, while the latter is limited to 5 years.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining a rental property requires considerable effort, but the results will ensure you have peace of mind and a profitable investment.
Tenants have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes, which includes proper maintenance and safety standards. You’ll also be assured that your property remains in its top condition.
If your time is limited as a self-managing landlord, you can choose to engage the services of a property manager. Contact Omnikey Realty at (833) 666-4539 for your rental property in Texas. You can also visit our website at www.omnikeytexas.com.