Wear and tear is a fact of life for every landlord. It is important to uncover any issues before it’s too late as it can save you time, money and most importantly headaches down the road.
A preventative maintenance plan, with regularly scheduled inspections should be part of every residential landlord’s or rental property owner’s policies and procedures. Thorough preventative maintenance programs can have significant economic benefits, namely:
- Lower utility bills
- Prevention of expensive emergency repairs
- Extension of the life of HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), plumbing and electrical systems
- Lower taxes as maintenance and repair costs often can be used as tax deductions
- Lower tenant turnover as a well maintained property keeps tenants from moving
Here are some tips to improve your preventative property maintenance procedures:
- Always keep in stock frequently used supplies like paint, plaster, floor polish, door knobs, latches, hinges, blinds, linoleum tiles, etc.
- Develop good relationships with your contractor which will help you out in the long run because most vendors will go out of their way to help out their best customers.
- Insist on a walk-through of every vacated home yourself. Take time to get an overview of your property to assess what needs to be done.
- Make a checklist of all wear and tear items during your own personal walk-through. A wear and tear checklist will include inspections of air conditioning units, water heaters, any electrical outlets, toilets, roof and the walls.
We also suggest to add the following to your checklist:
- Check all door knobs and locks to ensure they are working and are not loose.
- Open/close closet doors and check if they are on-track.
- Look for any cracks or water stains on the ceiling and walls.
- Check carpeting for dirt, spots and other signs of wear.
- Check carpet seams to ensure they are not coming up at the edges.
- Make sure wood, tile, and vinyl doors are not scuffed, scratched, thinning, or loose.
- Check counter-tops for cracks, damage or scratches.
- Check floors for cracks and other damage.
- Check windows for any sticking or rotting sills.
- Make sure all wallpaper is securely applied.
- Ensure that blinds and shades are in good condition and working order.
- Make sure all windows, latches, and screens are in good condition.
- Check faucet handles and other hardware.
- Check toilets for leaks or running water.
- Check for faded, chipped or cracked paint.
- Check if smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working condition and replace batteries regularly.
With yearly inspections and preventative maintenance, you can keep your rental property in great shape. You can also make costly items like the roof or the furnace last much longer, hence saving a lot of money. It is always good to encourage the tenants to let you know whenever a small issue occurs and needs to be repaired immediately. Thus, you can always stay ahead in the game.