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
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.
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:
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:
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.