Education and news for smart DIY landlords!
Winter months have ended and it’s the perfect time for landlords to do some spring maintenance for their rentals. Maintaining your rental property in Spring mitigates any damage brought about by the cold. Without a checklist, you wouldn’t know what areas to deal with first and potential problems to look for.
Don’t worry, we prepared this simple checklist to get you started. Follow the tips here and your rental property stays in tip-top shape.
Your roof is a common part of your rental property that can be damaged in winter. Ice and snow build up and weaken the roof because of the extra weight. The heat inside the rental unit cause snow and ice to melt and this can lead to water entering the house through areas like flashings. Such issues brought about by the cold require that you get a quality roofing inspection from a licensed local contractor. You can look for signs of moisture inside the rental unit but never go up on the roof yourself.
The gutter system of any house is meant to funnel away water. If it’s been months since you last cleaned the gutters, most likely it has accumulated leaves, dirt, and debris. These things clog your gutters and prevent water from passing through. Without maintenance, water may overflow and find its way into your rental unit. A lot of property managers realize the benefits of installing gutter guards. These are screens that allow only water to penetrate the gutters while leaving debris out.
Most landlords think about cleaning the rental unit but forget about indoor air quality. Don’t neglect HVAC maintenance or else it won’t be able to work efficiently to keep tenants comfortable. Make sure to replace the air filter if it has accumulated dirt. Trim bushes and remove dead plants that surround the HVAC. A clear path is necessary to promote proper air flow. Before summer arrives, call a service person to check for leaks, clean drainage holes, and fix damaged belts.
Do an exterior inspection of the rental unit. Are there chips in your wall paint? Did your boards rot or come loose? If you see extensive rotting and cracking, it’s time to get a professional home maintenance contractor. Damage to your foundation can be a cause for leaks and accidents in the unit.
There is no shortage of outdoor work you should tackle when the snow melts. Aside from cleaning, landscaping is a must-do task to keep plants at a safe distance from equipment and parts of the unit that are prone to damage (roof, gutters, HVAC unit). Mow the lawn, prune fruit-bearing and flowering trees, and remove fallen leaves. Landscaping in spring boosts the appeal of your rental property which may attract new tenants and keep the ones you have happy.
A well-maintained rental property stays beautiful and strong and makes your landlording business profitable. When you hire contractors to conduct inspections and do repairs, be sure to get licensed and insured individuals.
Some landlords require their tenants to handle lawn care on their own while other landlords take full responsibility. The latter may be a costly option but it greatly minimizes problems.
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Finally, I offer you the opportunity to take a complete DIY landlording course: Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials. Everything you need to know to become not just a landlord, but a successful landlord, is here.