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4 Important Maintenance Jobs for That Can Prevent Huge Problems for Rental Properties

Do you own rental properties? If so, you can probably relate to the pit in your stomach you get when receiving those dreaded calls from tenants who report problems. Usually, it’s the minor stuff that leads to bigger issues. It’s important to take care of those little problems before they grow into larger concerns that can result in costly and ongoing lawsuits, besides losing tenants. Here are four important maintenance jobs you need to do for your rental properties, along with a few considerations and warnings.

Check for Leaks and Other Types of Water Damage

One of the worst problem you can have as a landlord is a flood or another form of water damage. After a storm, look for possible leaks. Another time to check is when ice and/or snow starts melting. It’s also a good idea to inspect for leaks on humid, hot days as this can cause pipes to sweat. In addition to checking for soft spots on walls, ceilings and roofs, look for any moisture and water in showers, toilets and windows. Other areas to check include underneath sinks, water heaters and boilers.

Regularly Check Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

All your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors need to be tested on a regular basis to ensure they’re functioning properly. This includes both hard-wired devices and those that are battery-operated. Consider that most smoke alarms last around ten years, while carbon monoxide detectors have a lifespan of about five years. You don’t want to be faced with lawsuits because of defective smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.

Exterminate Your Rental Properties

One of the main reasons tenants leave is because of pests, so it’s critical your properties have regular pest exterminations. You need to check for insects, pests and other varmints at least once a month. Although you can buy your own extermination supplies, it’s better to use a professional exterminator. When you consider how losing tenants will cost you considerably more than what it costs to hire an exterminator, it makes sense to hand over this job to a specialist who’s both trained and experienced.

Inspect Air Conditioners to Ensure They’re Working Properly

Unfortunately, most people examine the interior or an air conditioner only when it doesn’t seem to be working or when it needs replacing. In fact, it’s the air conditioner that is typically the equipment that’s ignored the most in rental properties.

When an air conditioner isn’t checked consistently, it can have a severe impact of your tenants’ health because of harmful bacteria entering that can invade the lungs. The best months to take care of air conditioning problems are April and May instead waiting until summer when the weather is the hottest.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Check smoke detectors when you stop by your tenants’ homes to collect rent.
  • Shower drains tend to easily clog from hair that falls. An ideal way to solve this issue is by using strainers. Tell your renters to simple remove any hair that falls when taking a shower.
  • Change the filters in your HVAC unit twice a year or more frequently.
  • Routinely clean your gutters.
  • Hand over some responsibility to your tenants. For example, why not include a clause in a lease contract that requires them to periodically flush their kitchen drains, using detergent and hot water.
  • Check grout between bathroom or kitchen tiles for holes or cracks. If you find any, replace the caulking so that you don’t have water damage. Holes in grout can cause water leakage that can damage walls. What’s more, it can affect a floor that’s located below.
  • Don’t put off identifying water leaks because they can destroy ceilings and walls and even damage your tenants’ personal belongings.
  • Even worse, leaks can lead to molds forming that not only destroy your properties but can also compromise health.
  • Paint your property rentals, especially if they haven’t been painted in ten years. In addition to being unattractive, old paint can be hazardous to health. Fortunately, new paints are considerably safer and more environmentally friendly than those manufactured ten years ago.

By doing some basic preventative maintenance you can be spared of problems that can entail having to spend thousands of dollars on repairs. For additional tips on how to succeed as an investment property owner, please contact us. 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Inspect Your Rental Properties?

Inspections Are Time Consuming For Landlords:

Part of a landlord’s job is to keep the home they rent out in good shape for the next tenant. That means that the landlord will have to inspect the properties that are being rented out on a regular basis. While inspections a necessary part of the job, it’s no secret that they can take a substantial amount of time out of a landlord’s schedule. It can be very challenging and time-consuming to ensure that every single home is inspected every time a new tenant is going to move in.

Moreover, keeping track of the endless mounds of paperwork for each home that you are renting can be next to impossible. This is where the benefits of digital inspections come in. These inspections are done via a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other mobile device rather than with the classic method of pen and paper. Digital inspections make inspections quicker and easier for everyone involved.

Why Should Landlords Inspect Their Rental Homes?

So the real question from all of this is: Should landlords inspect their homes between tenants or on a set schedule? The answer is a resounding yes!

The following are some of the reasons inspections are important for rental homes:

  • Regularly inspecting rental homes will help catch small problems before they become big ones
  • Regular inspections help save the landlord money on massive repairs that would not be need if smaller issues were detected
  • Inspections give tenants a peace of mind that their rental is a safe and clean place to live
  • Inspections prove that the homes being rented meet building codes and requirements
  • Can potentially help increase the amount homes are rented for as proof that the home is safe and up to building codes as of a recent inspection

Beyond just ensuring that the home is safe for tenants and fixing small issues before they turn into big problems, inspections help ensure that everyone involved in the renting process is protected. Inspections should be carried out after each tenant’s lease is up, before the next tenants move in to ensure that the home is safe.

If the same tenants occupy the same homes for an extended period of time (i.e. years, decades, etc.) periodic inspections ensure that the tenant respecting the property and that they are caring for the home appropriately during their stay. It also ensures that the home is safe for the tenant to inhabit and helps fix any possible issues before they become real problems.

Why Are Digital Inspections More Convenient?

While regularly scheduled inspections are vital for rental properties, there is a new phenomenon taking hold that is changing how inspections are done. Digital inspections are a more recent phenomenon that has largely replace the classic “pen and paper” method. These digital methods of tracking inspections is more convenient for a variety of reasons, some of which include the following:

  • Added Mobility: Digital inspections allow you to access the inspection records of a home from virtually anywhere long as you have your mobile device and an internet connection on hand. This can be useful for sharing inspection information with potential tenants during a tour or even facility or property managers during a business meeting.

 

  • Results Can Be Shared: When results of inspections are uploaded onto an electronic device, this makes this information easier to share with others. Whether it’s through direct messaging or email, you can send the records to everyone who needs to see them almost instantly with just a click of the mouse. This method is much faster than the old method of printing and mailing or sending the paperwork to someone to view.

 

  • Your Records Are Protected: If your records are stored on digital devices, they are protected as they are able to be backed up on another digital device and saved for the long-term. If these records were on paper and the papers are lost, the records are likely lost. Keeping them backed up on electronic devices ensures that they are retrievable to meet your future needs.

 

  • Allows You To Get Results Faster: Rather than requiring the inspector to go back to their office to fill out all the paperwork it can be completed electronically. Moreover, this helps inspectors not have to consult pictures and notes to create a report about the property. Many inspectors complete the entire electronic form while on the inspection site or at their office shortly thereafter. This makes getting the results of inspections faster and more convenient for the landlord.

 

  • More Reliable Information: If an inspector doesn’t have to rely on notes and pictures to report about the inspection they completed. If inspectors are on site when they do their reports, they can view the real-life property for themselves. If they do it right back at their office that same day their memories are fresher and they are able better to recall key details than if reports were done a few days later. This helps keep the information on a home accurate as possible.

These are just a few key reasons that inspections are better when they are done digitally rather than by pen and paper. Increased accuracy and easier filing of forms make the inspection process much more painless for landlords and inspectors alike. Having inspections helps the buyer ensure that they are buying a home that is safe to live in and that is functioning properly.Tenants who know their home was carefully inspected before they move in are more likely to pay a higher price for their home and the peace of mind knowing that their home is in premier shape and that their families are safe living there.

For more information about scheduling digital inspections for your rental homes, please feel free to contact us.


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