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.