A well-maintained property will rent for more money, and it will also rent to a high quality tenant. You can expect a home in excellent condition to rent faster, which will reduce the cost of vacancy and the stress that comes with an unoccupied investment home.
In addition to helping your leasing process, your prompt and responsive attention to routine and preventative maintenance will also preserve the condition of your investment. Its value will increase and you won’t have to spend a lot of money fixing it up before you rent it out again or sell it at some point in the future.
Preventative maintenance is especially important because it saves you money in the long run and reduces the need for emergency repairs. Follow these tips to keep your home in excellent shape.
Prepare for Changes in Season
Winterize your home before the temperatures drop, and clean out the gutters and check the roof and landscaping in the spring, before warm weather returns. Oakland’s climate is pretty mild, but you know wet winters can be expected, and your tenants will want to turn on the heat. Winter is a good time to clean out your gutters and downspouts. Inspect the trees that border your home and make sure the roof is free from branches and debris.
In the spring, you’ll want to make sure the air filters have been changed before the air conditioning starts running. Check the roof for any missing shingles or wear after the winter. It’s a good time to power wash your property, inspect all of your plumbing, and clean out your gutters again. Prepare for landscaping and lawn maintenance as well.
Heating and Cooling Systems
The most expensive systems in your home are your furnace or your heating unit and your air conditioning. It’s worth the investment to have a qualified HVAC technician come out to inspect and service your system. This will allow you to detect any problems early; before they become costly and complicated. You don’t want to spend $8,000 replacing the entire system when you could spend $200 or $300 per year having it cleaned and tuned up. Make sure your tenants understand their responsibilities in terms of changing air filters and running the heat and air.
Stay on Top of Plumbing and Leaks
Water can damage a home faster than any other culprit. You want to be constantly checking for leaks and water problems. Any time you’re inspecting the property, be sure to check under the sinks and around the tubs and showers. Look for water stains on walls and ceilings. Check for standing water around the home or on the roof. If toilets are moving and sinks are dripping, call your plumber and have these things taken care of right away. Otherwise, you are exposing yourself to the risk of rot and mold.
Keep Your Appliances Working and Safe
Appliances can cause fires and other hazards, particularly clothes dryers. Make sure you have the vents vacuumed out at least once a year, and be sure that none of the appliances you’re providing for your tenant have been recalled or identified as needing to be replaced. Don’t keep repairing a 25-year-old dishwasher. Just replace it.
Regular inspections and communication with your tenants will help you with preventative maintenance. We strongly recommend that you make it a priority so you can keep your tenants happy and your property protected.