Rental Property Maintenance: Tips for Keeping Up

bigstock-House-In-Hands-Home-Real-Estat-2617813It’s not hard to forget what you need to do to maintain your own home, but as a property owner or manager you also need to project that same line of commitment to your rental properties. Rental property maintenance not only helps keep your tenants and attract new ones, but it also prevents civil and criminal liabilities for improperly maintaining your property. Deciding a proper course of action can be daunting, but it’s not impossible.

Take a Look at the Exterior

The exterior should be a big part of your rental property maintenance. This is the first impression everyone has about your property. Wood on the exterior should be painted and kept clean. If you don’t keep the wood painted it can lead to deterioration, which turns into an extensive repair.

Check the Foundation

The foundation is a critical part of maintenance. Check out your existing foundation, paying attention the how the land slopes around it. You want the ground to slope away from the building — taking water runoff with it. If it’s not, slope it using backfill to keep water from draining directly into the foundation.

Clean Out the Gutters Once a Year

At least once a year you should check out your gutters and clean them out. Remove debris and leaves that could block water flow and cause the gutters to back up. Backed up gutters can drain into your foundation or home.

Inspect the Roof Regularly

You should inspect your property’s rooftop regularly for missing shingles or damage. This is especially important following a wind storm, snow, etc. Missing or damaged roof shingles could allow water to penetrate the interior of your property, encourage mold growth, etc.

Maintain Heating and Cooling Systems

Heating and cooling systems are also important in rental property maintenance. You should have your systems inspected at least once a year not only for safety reasons, but for efficiency as well. Filters should be changed at least once a month &endash; which will help your system run more efficiently.

Inspect Attics and Crawl Spaces

Attics and crawl spaces are where problems often occur and go unnoticed until it’s too late. Regularly inspect your unused spaces for any signs of water intrusion, foundation cracks, holes or leaking pipes.

Respond to Tenant Issues Immediately

As a property owner it is your responsibility to maintain the property. When a tenant puts in a repair request, respond to it quickly and fix the problem. Depending on your state’s tenant laws, not fixing the problem could give the tenant the right to withhold rent or sue you in civil court. In addition, not fixing potential safety issues could result in fines or additional courtroom time.

Rental property maintenance should be at the forefront of your to-do list. If you don’t have the time to personally maintain your property, hire a maintenance firm that can help keep your property up to code, perform quarterly and annual maintenance, and inspect your property regularly for any issues.

Jan 2014
POSTED IN Legal Tips