Landlords are becoming an essential job now that real estate is becoming more expensive than ever. However, being a landlord is no easy task. There are a lot of things to keep in mind, and maintenance is one of them.
As a landlord, it’s important to remember that the property you’re renting out is not your own. At least not yet, until you’ve paid your mortgage. While you may be tempted to take a hands-off approach, neglecting regular maintenance can lead to more significant (and more expensive) problems down the road. Here are five essential maintenance checks you should perform regularly.
Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide are dangerous gases, both of which can be invisible depending on the situation. As a landlord, you’re responsible for ensuring that your rental property’s detectors are working correctly. It’s also required by law in some states. So test them monthly, and replace the batteries at least once a year. It’s also a good idea to keep spare batteries on hand, just in case.
Radon is also an invisible gas that occurs when uranium in the soil breaks down. It can enter a home through cracks in the foundation, and it’s been linked to lung cancer. While you can’t see or smell radon, there are test kits available that can detect its presence. If you’re in the states of Alaska, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Idaho, you should check for radon every month, as these states are susceptible to radon.
Check Your Plumbing
You should check your plumbing regularly to ensure that there are no leaks. Leaks can not only cause water damage, but they can also lead to mold and mildew growth. They can lead to more expensive repairs down the line.
Check under the sinks, behind the toilets, and in the basement or crawl space for any signs of leaks. Also, make sure to check the water pressure in all the fixtures, as this can be an indication of a bigger problem.
One of the best ways to check the integrity of your plumbing is to get it tested. Getting a hydrostatic test is the best way to do this, as it will check for leaks or weak spots in your plumbing. The test will put your plumbing under high pressure to see if anything springs from a leak.
Inspect the Roof and Gutters
The roof is one of the most expensive parts of your property. A roof replacement can run up to $8,000, making it one of this list’s most costly maintenance items. That’s why it’s crucial to inspect your roof regularly and ensure that there are no missing or damaged shingles.
Gutters are another part of your property that need to be maintained. Clogged gutters can lead to water damage, as well as foundation problems. Inspect your gutters regularly, and clean them out when necessary.
Check the HVAC System
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is one of the most expensive items in your rental property. A new HVAC system can cost upwards of $10,000 when getting it replaced, so it’s essential to keep it well-maintained.
The first step is to change the filters monthly, as this will help prolong the life of your system. Additionally, have a professional come out and inspect your system yearly. This will help identify any potential problems that could lead to a breakdown.
Maintain the Landscaping
While you may not think of it as part of maintenance, landscaping is integral to keeping your rental property in good condition. Not only does it make your property look nicer, it can also help with drainage and prevent soil erosion.
Some things you should do regularly include mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, and pulling weeds. You should also fertilize the grass at least once a year to help it stay healthy.
You can also take measures to prevent landscaping problems before they happen. For example, you can put up a fence to keep animals out of your garden or install gutters to prevent rainwater from damaging your plants. Moreover, a well-designed landscaping plan can save money for future landscaping maintenance.
While there are many different things that you need to do as a landlord to keep your rental property in good condition, these five maintenance checks are some of the most important. By regularly performing these checks, you can help prevent problems before they start and save your properties from constant repairs and replacement, which can be expensive.