Managing a rental property is a complex task requiring a number of considerations every year to keep the house in top quality without spending too much or intruding on the tenants more than necessary. Even if you regularly check in with the tenants to confirm that everything is working well for them, without actual preventative maintenance steps, disaster can strike that your tenants simply didn’t see coming. To avoid these problems and the costs that all too often come along with them, we have put together three helpful tips on saving money through preventative rental property maintenance.
1) Check for Early Signs of Water Damage
First and foremost, water damage is your biggest enemy. It’s silent, sneaky, and does a lot more than get things soggy. Anything allowed to remain moist too long can begin to grow dangerous mold, soften, rot, and then attract insects who like living in rotting houses. Leaks can happen in your attic, basement, bathrooms, kitchen, and even from the pipes in the walls so it’s important to occasionally inspect the house for early signs of water damage. Your primary checks should be under sinks and around water fixtures but don’t forget to look for pooling water in the ceiling, damp spots on the walls or floor, and signs that the roof might be leaking into the attic. Any signs of leaks should be hunted down and fixed immediately.
While we’re on water damage, also make a careful inspection of the grout and calking in the bathrooms and kitchen. Water splashes around a lot on these rooms and the sealant between the walls and tiles is important to keep the rest of the house safe. If there are any chips or gaps, repair them promptly.
2) Change the Filters Regularly
Anything in your house that runs on filters, from the water heater to the furnace, should have its filters changed regularly based on the advised maintenance schedule. When appliances try to run with a dirty filter, not only is this unsanitary for the tenants, it also forces the machine to work harder for the same results because the clogged filter slows down the flow of air or water. This makes them more likely to break, and new filters are much cheaper than repairs or replacements. Filters usually have their lifespans printed right on the package so it should be easy to determine how frequently you need to change them.
3) Prevent Pests with Biannual Extermination
The final nemesis of any homeowner or property manager is pests. Primarily insects, but sometimes also including birds and rodents, pests invade your home and can cause serious damage to the structure in their effort to dig in and build their own habitat. Bugs birds and mice are all perfectly fine- outside and you can keep them there by spraying long-lasting poison about twice a year. This will keep the termites, wood and, roaches, and mice out of your walls and away from your tenants.
Simply give your tenants plenty of forward warning about your intent to poison, then create a solid exterior perimeter. Spray the entire base of the house along with any doorway thresholds and windowsills to ensure there is no way for bugs to get in. If there is an unfinished basement, you may want to spray this as well.
Maintaining a rental home is a big responsibility but it doesn’t have to be a big expense as well. With the right preventative maintenance steps, you should be able to keep the property in top condition and pleasing to your paying tenants for many years to come. For more ways to save money on your rental property, contact us today.