Routine property maintenance is a vital part of smart property management. It may be tempting to skimp on the cost of proactive maintenance but neglecting some routine tasks can lead to costly repairs. Having to deal with emergencies isn’t preferable to tenants either and having empty units is a big loss of revenue.
It’s important to keep track of the routine property maintenance appointments for all your properties. Software which allows for tracking the maintenance history in an owner portal can make this aspect of property management less challenging. Such innovative solutions make it easy to ensure that your property maintenance is up to date.
Are you taking good care of your properties and staying on top of preventative maintenance? Here are seven routine property maintenance appointments that you should definitely consider making.
1. Routine Inspections
An important part of routine property maintenance are regular inspections. The best time to perform routine property inspections are in the spring and fall at 6 month intervals. At the very least, you should be conducting annual inspections.
It is generally required that landlords must give tenants 24hr or 48hr notice prior to entering the premises. Keep that in mind when scheduling your inspections. Landlords may only enter the home without notice in the event of emergencies.
2. Water Damage Prevention
Water damage can have costly consequences. Moisture can affect the structure of materials causing them to need premature replacing. Water can also be a health concern as it makes conditions favorable to the growth of mold.
It’s advisable to do a water damage prevention walk-through once per year. The best time to check for leaks is in the spring when ice and snow begin to melt. Look for leaks around windows and doors and check for soft spots and discoloration on ceilings and walls. Don’t neglect to check the roof to ensure it’s in good shape.
Leaks can come from pipes and fixtures inside the home as well. Examine the caulking and grout around tubs and showers. Check around toilets and look under sinks. Take a look underneath and around appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers too.
3. Gutter Maintenance
It’s important to inspect and clean gutters twice per year. The best time to perform this task is in the late spring and early fall. Ignoring the gutters can lead to a myriad of issues.
Instead of draining properly, clogged gutters will overflow in inappropriate places. At certain times of year this can leave walkways covered in ice. This is a hazardous situation which can lead to injuries that a landlord may be liable for.
Water draining towards the house can affect the integrity of the roof and cause rot and premature failure. Not staying on top of this aspect of routing property maintenance may cause damage that can affect the structural integrity of the house. It can result in water coming into the home and causing damage and mold that may be costly to fix.
4. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Testing
Fire prevention and safety are of paramount importance and the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your units are important components of keeping people and properties safe. Battery operated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need to be tested every 6 months. At the same time the batteries in each detector should be replaced. Wired detectors can be tested annually.
Even though you change the batteries, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are not good forever. The lifespan of smoke detectors is about 10 years. Carbon monoxide detectors usually have a lifespan of about 5 years.
5. Heating and Cooling Systems
The HVAC system on your property should be inspected and serviced at least annually. This part of routine property maintenance is best left to professionals. Having your AC and furnace serviced regularly will keep them running efficiently and extend their lifespan.
This is a good time to top up the supply of furnace filters. Don’t forget to remind responsible parties that filters need to be replaced on a regular basis. This will keep your ducts and furnace cleaner for longer. Staying on top of this simple task should keep your ducts clean for 2 to 3 years.
6. Water Heater Maintenance
Hire a professional to annually inspect and service the water heater. Having the tank drained and the sediment build up removed once per year can extend the life of your hot water tank. Ensuring the proper maintenance of your water heater can make it operate more efficiently and safely.
Regular maintenance can spot and prevent leaks. This part of routine property maintenance can also prevent catastrophic failure of the water heater. A failure would mean a lack of hot water for the tenants. That’s certainly a situation worth avoiding.
7. Tree Maintenance
In cold climates it’s a good idea to prune trees before the winter. Ice and snow can cause branches to break creating the potential for property damage as well as unsafe conditions. Annual tree maintenance is important in warm climates as well. Being tended to by a professional is good for the trees as well as being an important aspect of safety.
Being proactive about routine property maintenance can translate to savings down the road. Ignoring the maintenance of your properties will ultimately lead to failures that will leave you scrambling and spending money on costly repairs. Taking the initiative and preventing problems before they start is cost efficient.
Staying on top of maintenance is a matter of health and safety too. Prevention of fire and water damage are important aspects of property ownership. Making reasonable efforts to prevent slips, falls, and other injuries are an issue of safety too.
Taking good care of your properties and their structures leads to better tenant satisfaction. Spotting problems before tenants do will prevent them from having to open a maintenance ticket. Being proactive also prevents tenants as well as staff from having to deal with emergency failures.
Take care of your properties and your tenants. It’s responsible, economical, and makes good sense.