Rental Property Maintenance
When you own a rental property, you automatically become responsible for maintaining it. But what if it's your first time owning a rental property, and you don't know where to start? Follow this rental property maintenance guide to the essentials every property owner should know.
The Importance of Property Maintenance
You can't rent your property without tenants. But keeping good tenants happy means having to put effort toward ensuring the property is well-kept. You want to make it a space where they feel comfortable and welcome so they'll be incentivized to continue living there. You'll also want to keep any inspectors happy, so your maintenance should aim to keep your building up to code.
And just like with your home, your rental property’s value directly correlates to how well you manage it. And since you're already thinking in dollars and cents, that's another reason maintenance is so crucial: avoiding costly repairs. The more you keep up with things, the less likely you'll have to shell out a lot of money to fix something down the road.
Essential Property Maintenance Tasks
First, you'll want to have a plan of attack for all these tasks. These are basic maintenance items you should add to your rental property maintenance checklist:
- Routine inspections for any necessary repairs
- HVAC system inspections and air filter changes
- Pest control
- Checks for proper function of CO2 detectors
- Drains and sewer line checks
- Leak prevention
Fortunately, with the right tools at your disposal, many of these maintenance tasks are within the grasp of the average DIYer. But this will vary depending on how much time you have and how large of a property you're responsible for. Keep in mind that you can always mix and match, taking care of some tasks yourself while outsourcing others.
Seasonal Property Maintenance
Seasonal maintenance is also vital, though there are more opportunities to forget it since it isn't necessary all year. Remember to address maintenance tasks like weatherproofing and winterizing when the seasons change to ensure your tenants stay comfortable.
Spring is an excellent example of when you'll have many seasonal property maintenance tasks on your list. Aside from spring cleaning, the warmer weather likely opens you up to building, repairing, or restoring parts of your rental property. Take advantage of this time and make a plan for addressing the small things now so they don't turn into major issues by the end of summer.
Interior Rental Property Maintenance
Interior property maintenance is vital for your tenants’ quality of life. But it's also a great way to keep your investment at its best. Here are some primary maintenance tasks you'll find yourself tending to indoors.
Flooring and Carpeting
Floors and carpets will always need attention at some point. Even if you have fantastic tenants, there's a good chance you'll need to find ways to remove stains or replace entire sections of floors and carpets.
And depending on the extent of the damage, you may want to replace the entire thing. Look out for high-traffic areas like vestibules or hallways that multiple tenants might walk through daily.
Painting and Patching
As a rental property owner, you'll also run into a lot of chipped paint and holes in the wall. These issues are relatively simple to resolve if you're handy. It's wise to keep some paint on hand that you can quickly access for touch-ups whenever they’re needed.
Caulking and Bathroom Fixtures
Sometimes, the old bathroom fixtures are hurting more than they're helping. In these cases, don't hesitate to invest in new ones. Doing so will improve your tenant's quality of life and your property’s value. And to further preserve the health of the bathroom, don't forget to use caulk wherever it's needed.
Exterior Rental Property Maintenance
Now that you've handled the inside, it's time to head outdoors and see what could use some TLC. Here's what you'll likely need to address for exterior property maintenance.
Lawn Care and Landscaping
Landscaping can be a significant time and money sink, but it's vital if you want your property to look nice. An investment in lawn care is an investment in your property.
Roof and Gutter Maintenance
Mismanaged roofs and gutters don't just look bad; they can also lead to water damage within the property's interior. Many owners overlook these maintenance items, but doing so can cost you a lot of money.
Just like the inside of your building, the exterior will deteriorate over time. While you may not need to throw an entire fresh coat of paint on at every check, maintaining the paint does keep the property looking fresh.
Create a Maintenance Schedule and Budget for Your Rental Property
After getting your maintenance list together, a certain question arises: how can you stick with it? Start by securing funds you'll solely dedicate to maintenance tasks. That way, you'll have a set budget to work with, and you can make decisions based on how much you have to spend.
This point leads to the next tip: consider maintaining the property yourself instead of using professionals. Many tasks don't require much effort as long as you buy home improvement items from a reputable store. Weigh the two options with your budget, and see what makes the most sense for you.
Home Outlet also offers the Pro Program, an exclusive option for landlords and property managers. Joining it gives you incredible discounts and unique benefits like expert advice and priority services. If you plan to take on your rental property's maintenance, you'll get a lot of mileage from the Pro Program.
Maintain Your Property Properly
With the help of this guide, you should have everything you need to master the basics of good property management. And with that, you can make decisions that will improve your and your tenants' lives across the board.
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