Becoming a landlord can be very lucrative. However, doing so also means assuming certain responsibilities. A landlord needs to collect rents, supervise the property and attend to the needs of their tenants as well as vet new potential tenants. One of the most important things any landlord also needs to do is to maintain their properties. If you own rental properties, you will need to pay attention to the small details. Well maintained rental properties will attract more renters, get higher rents and allow you to earn a profit should you later decide to put your properties on the market if you want to retire. Home maintenance services can be very helpful with all of these goals.
Perhaps the most important of all home maintenance services are services that can prevent any further problems to your properties. Catching a small problem before it becomes a larger problem can save you a lot of time and money. As property managers in American Canyon, we are well aware of the challenges that landlords face in spotting small problems. This is why we recommend inspecting all your properties at least once a month. Keep a detailed record of the state of each property. A series of photographs and videos can help you remember exactly what each property looked like the last time you saw it. If you rent out a few apartments, your maintenance costs may be covered by the housing management company. Be aware that there are laws that govern your access to your rental property. In most cases, you will need to give the renters twenty-four hours notice before you inspect the property and then notice of any work you plan to do the space.
Seasonal ConsiderationsHome maintenance services should be done on a seasonal basis if possible. Colder weather makes the perfect time to inspect a boiler and a hot water heater as well as any interior insulation. It also makes the ideal time to inspect the roof and make sure there are no leaks. The same is true of the warmer weather. As the temperatures start to rise, this marks the perfect time to consider how best to protect your properties from the coming heat. Think about looking closely at the central air system during this time as well. The systems should be in good working order before it gets really hot outside. Heat can also warp materials. This is an ideal time to repair any small cracks in the foundation and any problems with concrete parking spaces.
Home maintenance services should be done on a seasonal basis if possible. Colder weather makes the perfect time to inspect a boiler and a hot water heater as well as any interior insulation. It also makes the ideal time to inspect the roof and make sure there are no leaks. The same is true of the warmer weather. As the temperatures start to rise, this marks the perfect time to consider how best to protect your properties from the coming heat. Think about looking closely at the central air system during this time as well. The systems should be in good working order before it gets really hot outside. Heat can also warp materials. This is an ideal time to repair any small cracks in the foundation and any problems with concrete parking spaces.
Preparing for a New Tenant
As a landlord, you know that you will often need to change tenants during the course of your career. The time between one tenant leaves and the next comes is a great time to work on any home maintenance tasks that need to be done and may have been neglected. You can also come inside an apartment and determine if the apartment or house has been maintained according to the agreed upon standard in the contract the tenant signed. If it has not, you may be entitled to keep some or all of their security deposit. Document the house carefully with lots of pictures and, if possible, a written report. Home maintenance services can provide you with the necessary support you may need to collect the amount of money you are due to bring the residence up to code and rent it out again at a profit.
Maintaining rental property needs to focus on two specific areas: the interior and the exterior. Each area poses specific challenges. At our property management company in American Canyon, our focus is on making sure that each area is in harmony. The interior of the rental property should have good bones. All floors should be comfortable and free of any obstacles. Wood floors should not have any boards that stick out. Tiles should not have any missing pieces. The same is true of the walls and the windows. Any holes should be patched as soon as possible to avoid the elements getting in the home. If a window does not open this should also be addressed. A stuck window can be led in the rain or let out the cool air during the hot months.
The Exterior Grounds
All areas of your rental properties need specific attention including the outdoors. Home maintenance services may also include other areas of the property such as a deck or the stairways outdoors leading to the front door. Outdoor spaces need just as much attention as all the interior spaces. A tree that’s leaning towards a rental house may pose a huge threat to your tenants. Invasive vines like honeysuckle may spread and threaten the foundation of the property if they are not checked. The same is true of other plantings. Trees and bushes should be periodically trimmed. Plants should be cut and kept neatly in order to help prevent accidents such as falls that can lead to unwanted lawsuits from your tenants.
Pools and Other Outdoor Recreation
Many landlords like to provide outdoor amenities for their tenants. This may include an outdoor pool that all tenants can use, a roof deck where people can gather during the summer, tennis courts and a playground for children. Maintaining these spaces is an important part of keeping your rental properties in good condition. You want to make sure the pool water is kept clean at all times. You also want to make sure that the pool is gated when not in use so that it cannot be used when lifeguards are not on duty. You also want to make sure that any decking surrounding the pool is in good shape so that it will not present a hazard to your tenants. The decking should be inspected before the pool is opened and then repaired as needed. Playground equipment should also meet all safety standards. It should be gated and pets like dogs prohibited from entering it when children are at play.