Own a rental property and need to add value to it over the long haul? Identifying a regular maintenance plan can keep your property in ‘NOI-generating status.’
To continue to reap the rewards from your investment, you must design and schedule routine tasks to repair, improve, and maintain your property. Following this annual property maintenance guide can avoid several less-than-ideal conditions, such as resident damage, regular wear and tear, and bad weather.
When you schedule annual property maintenance, a great way to start is by reviewing and managing the safety and security aspects of your property. For instance, you’ll need to test the property’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors yearly. Also, you will need to verify the on-premises fire extinguishers to check if they are functional.
Here are additional safety checks you need to add to your annual checklist:
It would be great if you would look for any damage and areas of improvement in your properties’ windows to ensure that they are clean and function well. Here are a few reasons to include window checks in your annual maintenance check:
Unless you’re trained to spot aging or failing materials in your property, you should plan to schedule an annual maintenance check to locate the areas of improvement. A certified inspector will create and fill out a brief report that will update the condition of all the aspects of your property. It will allow you to avoid emergency repairs and stay updated on crucial maintenance next steps.
Moreover, regular maintenance checks allow you to learn about other safety concerns, including missing and/or damaged spindles over porch railings or deteriorating cellar doors. The inspector will detail everything from the foundation of your property to its roof.
Any rental property investor hopes their home will appreciate in value over time. However, when they become damaged, dirty, or rundown — You’ll likely get the opposite. Regular power washing is another annual maintenance task to add to your list to ensure your property maintains or even increases in value.
While a single power washing service can be extremely beneficial, it is often even better for these services to be long-term and regular, especially when you want them to help maintain the property’s value.
Something often overlooked by landlords is the condition of gutters. It’s critical to remember that plant material and debris can collect and clog your gutters and downpipes. Additionally, weeds can grow in your spouting if left long enough. This causes water to pool, run down the side of your house, and flood the ground near the foundation.
This can clearly lead to serious problems in the short and long term. Just to paint the picture even clearer, here are a few major issues clogged gutters can cause:
At Evernest, we recommend cleaning gutters on your rental property every year, sometimes more, depending on where the property is located (i.e., an area with lots of trees or overgrowth).
You should also develop a plan for annual lawn and yard maintenance. Even if your tenants are accountable for lawn and yard maintenance, there are several aspects that you need to include in your annual property maintenance.
For instance, you may need to cut down…
It’s essential to perform these large-scale projects every year to identify any damaged limbs and trees that might fall at any time. Moreover, you will need to include gutter inspection and cleaning if required. This will ensure sewer water is directed away from your property’s foundation.
Regularly evaluating your property’s heating and cooling equipment ensures they function properly without interruptions. You should schedule these HVAC technician visits yearly to get these services and filters changed (if needed) for maximum benefits.
Failure of small components in cooling units can produce excessive carbon monoxide and may create major airflow problems. Therefore, annual maintenance visits will allow you to notice all these potential equipment failures — avoiding costly and catastrophic emergencies.
As property managers, we can tell you that it’s a good rule of thumb to flush your water heaters twice a year to maintain water cleanliness, specifically if it is heavily used. Regardless of how often you flush the water heaters in a year, you should include it in the annual maintenance schedule.
Failure to do so can result in the deteriorating or malfunctioning of water heaters, and it may leak or even flood your basement. In the annual maintenance schedule, simply call a professional plumber and inspector to check out your water heaters and advise on operating the equipment, flushing recommendations, and sediment buildup.
If your rental property is located in a rural area or among several trees, it can quickly become a potential haven for rodents and pests. Therefore, including pest control visits in your annual maintenance cards is often a good precaution.
After all, you likely don’t want mice building nests in your property’s walls, raccoons creating openings in your attic, or squirrels hiding in your garage. These issues can become intrusive, damage electrical wires, ruin insulation, and block airflow. So, to reduce rental property expenses and keep pests at bay, consider scheduling annual maintenance checks and calling a pest professional.
Some plumbing issues can create a full-scale water emergency. If you own an old property, there’s a chance that it operates on an aged plumbing design, including a poor sewer system. But don’t think these issues only exist with old properties — new properties also experience plumbing difficulties that could turn into expensive repairs.
This is why scheduling annual maintenance checks and sewage cleaning services with trusted plumbing professionals is the best action. While availing of sewage cleaning services, you can also ask the plumbing professional to install capital guards to prevent debris from clotting the sewage system.
These plumbing professionals will:
These can seem to be comparatively small investments in the short term, but as your property ages, they can prevent major expenses.
Fixing cracks in plaster may seem like a cosmetic fix not worthy of annual maintenance, but scheduling these fixes can help prevent major damage down the line. If done right away, a tiny crack can be repaired easily, but if done wrong, it could turn into a considerable replacement later.
Symptoms such as a fresh crack in the ceiling could lead to a floor falling from upstairs. Great dwellings can face small cracks due to the property’s weight, but hiring a patching professional to examine your property will ease your mind regarding any cracks or fissures.
Hiring a chimney sweeper is an important maintenance call if your rental property has a fireplace. Chimneys clogged with debris or soot can eventually create fire hazards.
Chimney masonry parts may also fail over time, requiring immediate support and repairs. We suggest not allowing your tenants to light the fireplace without an expert inspecting it first and, if necessary, doing a deep clean.
Create a list of annual maintenance checks performed on your rental properties. Your residents will certainly appreciate all your efforts to provide them with a safe and well-maintained property.
Plus, annual maintenance checks will help you to judge the living conditions first-hand. You can distinguish critical areas for improvement, like updated light fixtures or appliance upgrades.
This will even allow you to spot lease violations, including smoking residents, additional occupants, or signs of pets that weren’t included in the lease. Keep these customer services focused and annual checks concise. Bring your camera to click pictures to document concerns and violations. In addition, maintain a regular maintenance guide to maintain mission-critical schedule appointments.
Following the above Annual Property Maintenance Schedule and executing these tasks will allow you to look after your property with preventive care.
If you need help managing these detailed maintenance schedules, let property management companies like Evernest execute the work for you. Our dedicated and experienced property managers will follow up on all crucial steps to allow you to maintain a healthy Net Operating Income (NOI) and preserve your property investment for long-term results.
Lucas is a Content Strategist for Evernest. You can find Lucas drinking coffee or eating tacos when he isn’t doing research or creating content. Lucas is a North Dakotan living in Austin, TX, with his wife and daughter.