Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Rental Properties in Tip-Top Shape

Maintaining your rental properties is one of the keys to ensuring a successful investment venture. As a landlord, you have a legal obligation to provide an inhabitable property for your tenants, which means repairing and maintaining it before issues become major headaches. You can’t wait until your tenants are without hot water or electricity, so here are a few essential maintenance tasks you need to stay on top of to keep y9ur rental properties in tip-top shape. 

1. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Annually

Many states require rental properties to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. As a landlord, your job is to make sure these devices are in good working order at all times. To ensure the safety of your tenants, you need to test all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your rentals annually. Replace any broken devices and install new batteries in each one. Failure to conduct this annual maintenance could leave you liable for any injury or death caused by fire or carbon monoxide poisoning that takes place on your property. 

2. Check for Leaks

Water damage can quickly make a rental unit uninhabitable as mold and mildew can be toxic and smelly. As you go about your routine maintenance checks, look under sinks and bathtubs for signs of leaks and pay close attention to the water meter to determine if excess water usage is an issue. Furthermore, clean the building’s gutters every year to keep rainwater and runoff flowing away to prevent foundation damage and flooding.

3. Maintain the HVAC and Water Heater

Repairing or replacing the heating and cooling systems in your rental can be costly. That said, you can avoid these expenses by maintaining them properly each year. Schedule a professional to come in to check the HVAC and replace filters as well as to flush the water heater of sediment that can shorten its life span. Not only will maintaining these units regularly help them last longer, but they will run more efficiently as well. 

4. Repair Caulking and Grout Damage

The caulking and grout found in bathrooms and kitchens play a vital role in preventing water damage. As you go through your yearly maintenance checks, look for missing or cracked caulking or grout and replace it immediately to prevent water damage. 

5. Check the Doors and Windows for Security

Part of making sure a rental is habitable for people is ensuring the property’s security. All the windows and doors must operate smoothly and lock and unlock with a key. Open and close the windows and use your master key to check that every door operates the way it should. This is a good time, too, to make sure your tenants haven’t changed the locks themselves, as most leases forbid them from doing so. 

As a landlord, it’s your job to make sure your rental properties are safe, livable, and secure. By conducting annual maintenance checks and repairs, you ensure these things as well as the overall success of your rental business.