Essential Annual Maintenance Checklist for Your Rental Property
Being a successful landlord requires a strong mindset, to be able to make decisions under pressure while staying on top of things, planning ahead, and making the most of any given situation. What this boils down to is being able to maintain your rental property year after year to ensure it stays at its peak quality for current and future tenants. The most common way landlords get knocked off their game is by poorly maintaining their properties.
While it may not completely avoid all future problems, this can be a huge strategy for saving money in the future on costly repairs. Experts at Utopia Management in Los Angeles know that unresolved minor issues can grow into major problems at home, and never miss a beat when it comes to annual maintenance. Preventative maintenance is one of the most important parts of successfully managing a property. Here are some ways you can minimize potential problems on your rental properties.
Every year one of the most essential precautions you can take is to stay on top of your pest control. Even if there are no critters present, preventative measures should be taken to ensure that these little guys wont sneak their way into your tenants dwelling. A small pest issue can evolve into the need for major repairs such as having to rewire your home, repair the drywall, or redo the floor.
Whenever you are doing your yearly inspection of the rental property, be sure to keep a sharp eye out for water damage or leaks. This is one of the most common issues for property and can create astronomical problems for you as a landlord. The most common places where water damage may be found are near showers, toilets, and sinks. These should be functioning properly without leaks or disruptions. Look up at the ceiling for water spots as well to be sure no pipes started to leak.
Caulk and Grout
While we are discussing bathrooms, it is suggested to check the grout and caulk of the appliances. Do they look old and worn out? Is it cracking or discolored? If this is the case, a simple touch up can make all the difference in the bathroom’s aesthetic. It also prevents water from escaping and can prevent a small leak from becoming a major issue.
Roofs and Gutters
Part of your property’s inspection must be done on the roof and gutters. Be sure to look out for sinking or cracks in the shingles. If your roof is damaged in any way, this can seriously compromise your home and cause irreversible damage if left unchecked. Gutters must be clean and free of debris so that water will flow out and away from the roof. This also prevents water from building up and potentially causing a leak. If this is not cleaned annually, the water will flow back onto the roof and saturate the shingles, causing your roof to slowly deteriorate over time.
Ceiling and Drywall
Doing some small touch ups on the ceiling and drywall will keep your rental looking like new and will prevent cracks from forming or getting bigger. Smaller holes may have been left behind in the wall from pictures being hung with nails and screws. These small holes can be an eyesore for a tenant, so it is important to patch these up along with the bigger more prominent stuff in between contracts.
Check the Air Conditioner
The A/C can carry one of the largest expenses in your home. One very easy way to be sure your air conditioning is running properly is by changing the air filters every six months to a year. A dirty air filter will force your system to work harder and can cause it to eventually fail and be unusable. Something as simple as replacing the filters will keep the home feeling fresh and will prevent any unnecessary stress on your A/C unit.
Check the Hot Water Heater
Something that is commonly neglected in rental homes is the hot water heater. Annually flushing the sediment and gunk in your water heater will keep it operating in pristine condition. A proper flush will keep your water hot and clean, giving it the ability to run smoothly for years to come. If you do not flush the hot water heater yearly, pipes can burst, and the tank may completely break down altogether.
Observe Activity That Violates the Lease Agreement
When doing annual maintenance, remember to look around for any activity your tenants should not be doing in your property. A yearly maintenance walk-through is a good chance to observe signs your lease agreement may have been violated. Sometimes a bad tenant can be more costly than anything else, so be sure to stay on top of how they are treating your investment, especially before letting them renew their lease.
Annual maintenance on your property carries invaluable benefits for you and your tenants. Following these suggestions will keep you ahead of the game and will ensure you always have money coming in from your property. Proper home maintenance is the most tangible representation of your company, and a well-maintained home will increase tenants wanting to rent from you.