To succeed as a new landlord, one needs to have a specific mindset, based on problem-solving, decision-making, and good organization. In other words, you need to wear many hats – once you solve a particular problem, another one will pop up elsewhere.
However, out of all the things that could take you off your game, none is as threatening as maintenance. Maintenance issues are unpredictable, create a chaotic environment, and can be very stressful for the tenant.
As a new landlord, your first task is to prevent these issues from happening and provide a habitable dwelling for your tenants. To help you out, we’ve compiled a rental maintenance checklist – here are the things that may need repair and cleaning:
Check for Water Damage
When you’re doing a walk-through of the property, your main objective should be finding small problems that could easily turn into big ones. And out of all common issues that end up causing major damage, nothing beats water leaks.
Look for leaky pipe connections and dripping faucets. Check for signs of water damage around toilets, showers, and windows. Search for signs of water accumulating at places where it shouldn’t.
You should be able to fix some of these water-related issues by yourself, but some will require you to seek professional help.
Test the Smoke Detectors
The next part of your rental maintenance checklist is also one of the most important. As a landlord, the health and safety of your tenants should be your priority, not to mention the potential legal consequences.
Therefore, it is crucially important to make sure that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working correctly. In addition, check if any of these devices need new batteries and replace them.
Preventive maintenance of these life-saving devices is vital. You know the old saying – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Exterminate the Pests
Insect/pest issues are very common and can easily harm your rental property business. No matter the cleanliness of your property, critters always manage to find their way inside and become a huge problem.
If you’re often having issues with termites, for example, get yourself a special camera to locate and exterminate them more efficiently. Rodents, on the other hand, are attracted to garbage – keep the trash out of sight by building a dumpster enclosure.
Not dealing with issues such as these in a timely manner will cause you to lose tenants. You could also end up with major damage to your property.
Change the Filters
Another important task on your rental maintenance checklist should be regularly changing the filters of the hood, dishwasher, and the AC.
All of these filters should be replaced at least once in three months. In case you’re using water filters, don’t forget to take care of them too.
This maintenance tip is guaranteed to save you some money. Firstly, it will prevent the appliances using filters from breaking. Secondly, you’ll have fewer problems with your tenants – the rent money will keep coming.
Patch up the Cracks
While they usually don’t look alarming, small cracks can become a serious safety risk. Therefore, it’s very important that you identify the cause of their appearance and fix them immediately.
The most common reasons for cracks include structural weaknesses, loose plaster, and humidity. Depending on the cause, each crack should be addressed appropriately – for example, by plastering with concrete.
Smaller repairs such as these can go a long way – not only will they make an apartment/house safer, but also more pleasant to live in.
Keep the Water Heater Running
Twice a year, have an expert remove the sediment build up inside the water heater by draining it. Remember that all other water heater maintenance tasks are also your responsibility, such as relighting the pilot light.
Replacing the water heater can be quite costly, so it’s better to just keep it in good condition. In addition, you’ll be staying on the right side of the law. It is you, the landlord, who needs to make sure tenants have access to running water.
Inspect the Exterior
Rental maintenance does not stop once you’ve fixed everything inside the house. You need to inspect the property’s exterior as well.
Depending on the agreement, some basic tasks can fall under the responsibility of the tenant. Larger projects, such as gutter cleaning or tree maintenance, are usually the landlord’s responsibility.
Seasonal maintenance tasks are particularly important. If your property is located in an area with a winter climate, pruning the trees well before flurries is a good idea. Cleaning the gutters is just as essential, especially after a rainy season.
While it will cost you time and money, regular rental property maintenance is undoubtedly worth it. By keeping your property in excellent shape, your tenants will stay happy and you won’t have to worry about expensive repairs or even lawsuits.
Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both
thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.
SmartReno can help you find the right contractor for your Interior renovation project