If you’re involved in property management, you’ll spend considerable time dealing with maintenance and administrative issues. The maintenance issues can get costly and the administrative issues can impact the break even point. Preventing these major problems from arising will affect the bottom line for the investor.
Preventative maintenance is critical to operation of HVAC units. Furnace filters are inexpensive and should be replaced to avoid serious problems. Change them every two months when the units are being used. Fully clean all air conditioning units every spring, and completely remove all dirt and debris. Test them both before seasonal use to be sure everything is working properly. If something isn’t working properly, this will give you enough time to get it fixed before it is really needed.
Drains clog frequently in rental units. These include showers and toilets. Encourage tenants to pour hot water with baking soda down their drains monthly. Each unit should have a plunger and supply of baking soda. Install drain screens. Annual drain maintenance by a licensed plumbing company can prevent major clogs before repairs get drastically more expensive, say the experts at Plugged Piper Drain Service. Leaving clogged drains unattended can cause major problems, like flooding. Water damage and mold will be much more to fix than a clogged drain.
Clean gutters annually to prevent ice dams. Inspection is critical to preventing roof leaks. Get on a ladder and look for any bad spots on the exterior roof. Get into any attic space to look for roof damage from the inside. Repair these before water causes damage to walls and floors. Be sure to attend to any reports of water immediately.
Depending on geography and tenant lifestyle, different insects and rodents can be common squatters on rental properties. Regularly inspect all buildings and units for signs of pests and damage. Look for any holes in the walls and floor, as well as wood damage. Seal any entry points you might see. Make sure the chimney is properly capped as well. Even if you can’t see any signs of pests, they could still be lurking around the property and causing damage you can’t see right away. It’s a good idea to have a professional do preventative pest control every year to ensure there aren’t any problems.
Keep the property safe
Even though you have insurance, you don’t want people getting hurt on your property. One claim could raise your insurance premiums significantly. Two claims will probably get you canceled. After cancellation, premiums will skyrocket. Neglect and substandard property conditions will lead to nothing but substandard tenants and headaches.
Complete a condition report
Ordinary wear and tear is a cost of doing business as a landlord. Ordinary expenses of upkeep cannot be recovered. Holes in walls and ceilings are actionable. Landlord and tenant can sign off on a property condition report at the beginning of the lease. It operates in the best interests of both parties.
Simple and inexpensive preventative measures will operate to enhance the property’s condition, value and earnings. They also serve to keep maintenance expenses down.