20 Sep Summer maintenance tips for rental property owners
It’s common knowledge that you have to keep on top of general maintenance to ensure your rental property stays in good shape so it can continue to earn you top dollar. Spring is a good time to check your rental property to identify and repair any ravages of winter and get it ready for the coming summer.
The summer is often a very active time in the real estate market. People head off on extended holidays and often leave their rentals, while new graduates hit the workforce and start to look for a place of their own. So it’s important to do everything you can to ensure your rental property is ready and attractive for potential new tenants. On the other hand, if you have stable, long-term tenants, then keeping your hand on the property and making sure it stays ship-shape is one way to keep good tenants happy so they remain with you.
We’ve put together a number of tips for rental property owners to help prepare your rental property for the summer – if you maintain it well, you could even end up improving and adding value to your investment!
Around the rental property
To help maintain the outdoor areas of the property, it’s important to routinely clean them and fix anything that’s damaged. Doing so also ensures that your property has good curb appeal, which is important for attracting the right sort of tenant. A good maintenance programme will also show your tenant that you value your property and that you expect them to also take care of it.
Maintain walls, doors, and windows
Inspect the outside walls of the property. If required, give them a cleaning blast with a pressure hose and touch up any faded or chipped paint. Look around windows and doors for any gaps. Depending on the size of the gap, you might be able to fix it with caulk or weather stripping. Check that doors and windows open smoothly. If any screens are torn, fix them.
Inspect the roof and gutters
Grab a pair of binoculars and look at your roof from across the street. Locate any cracked, shifted or missing tiles or any other damage on the roof. Look out for any damage to the metal flashing around the chimney, gables, pipes, and skylights. Always get qualified tradespeople to fix problems on the roof. Clean leaves and debris from your gutters. The next time it rains stands outside and looks for breaks or leaks in your gutters and downspouts. Regularly cleaning the gutters – say every six months – will help to prevent muck from building up and causing leaks.
Clean and repair the driveway, patios, and decks
Give these areas a good clean – water blasters are great for removing mould and dirt. On concrete surfaces, try to fill in cracks with masonry crack filler that matches the colour of your concrete. On paved surfaces replace any damaged pavers or bricks. If any pavers are sticking up too high, raise them, remove a little dirt, and drop them back in place. Check wooden decks for signs of cracked or rotten planks, or planks that have started to curl excessively and they could also pose a trip hazard. If the finish is worn, let the wood dry for a few days after any water blasting before resealing it.
In the garden
Nothing says ‘a loving home’ more than a neat and tidy garden. While a tenant is generally responsible for mowing the lawn, the landlord is usually responsible for pruning and maintaining trees, shrubs and hedges, and any garden systems and structures, such as sprinklers and fences. If you love gardening, getting stuck in yourself could be a good idea – and it’s great exercise too. Otherwise, contract a garden service to give your rental’s garden the once over every six months.
If the lawn is showing signs of wear and tear, there’s nothing preventing you showing it some TLC by giving it a once over with a rake to remove leaves and twigs, and de-thatch dead grass. Also, fill in any bald patches by sowing some grass seed to help it get back into shape.
Check fence posts and panels
Replace warped or rotten panels or posts. If required, pressure washes the fence and reseal the wood or touch up the paintwork.
Tidy up flower beds
Clear out weeds and use a spade to redefine bed edges. Till the top few centimetres of the soil if it’s tightly packed, without damaging the roots of any plants. Refresh the mulch if it’s wearing a bit thin.
Fix sprinkler systems
If your rental has a sprinkler system in the garden, check for any winter damage, including broken heads and cracked pipes.
Prune trees and shrubs
Overhanging trees can cause damage to power lines or lead to blocked gutters. Keeping trees and shrubs pruned back from windows will help to increase light and ventilation in the property. This will also prevent moisture or mould from building up.
A few other things to keep an eye on
If you don’t have a professional property manager helping you to look after your rental properties, make an arrangement to meet with your tenant to have a chat about any niggles inside the property, and use the opportunity to check on the following:
Inspect heat pumps/air conditioners
If your property has a heat pump or air conditioner installed, now’s a good time to inspect it and fix any issues, so your tenants stay comfortable and happy.
Check smoke detectors
While the spring (or autumn) is always a good time to get a property ready for the coming summer (or winter) – it’s also as good a time as any to test smoke detectors to ensure they’re functioning properly. Even if they’re in good working order, consider replacing the batteries just to be doubly safe.
Clean out dryer vents
If the property has a place for a vented clothes dryer check that the vents haven’t become blocked over the winter.
Team up with Fahey Property Management
If you’re looking for an experienced property management company to assist you with things like tenant screening, rent collection, the coordination of property maintenance and repairs, then please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Fahey Property Management.
We would be more than happy to show you why landlords and rental property owners in Auckland and Hamilton have been trusting us for years to look after their valuable rental properties.GET IN TOUCH