Here at Alpha Property Management, we are always promoting the notion of preventative maintenance to our owners. Not only can you save yourself a whirlwind of headaches and lawsuits by investing in preventative maintenance but you can do you more than you think to protect your overall investment and help it grow. However, it is important to understand that not all preventative maintenance tasks are going to protect you or provide you with as much value as they should for the investment they require. So to help you save even further, your friends here at Alpha Property Management have prepared this list of the top preventative maintenance tips for landlords in 2021.
In a market like Sacramento, you simply cannot afford to skimp or skip out entirely on pest control! Although it can be yet another added expense to provide pest control, it is worth it in the long run to have the peace of mind and knowledge that you won’t have to face and expensive infestation at some point. In many cases, tenants simply cannot be trusted to either manage the pest control on their own or even to report it before it becomes a major problem. Think of it this way, would you rather supply tenants with pest control (a cost that you can write off in your taxes) or would you rather wait to find out that you need to tent your building and face that much larger expense, as well as, have to lose out on the ranch during that period? If you’re anything like most landlords and real estate investors you understand why it makes far more sense to invest in pest control upfront.
Water Damage, Mold, And Leaks
At least once or twice a year you should be touching base with your property and surveying it for any damage that needs to be corrected. One of the most costly and destructive types of damage to any property is water. In a climate like Sacramento, a small leak can quickly turn into a massive one, especially during the rainy season. If not handled immediately, that leak could cost you a fortune in mold, insulation, drywall, repairs, and lost rent! Not to mention, a potential lawsuit. Rather than wait to get an unfortunate phone call about flooding, mold, or any other type of severe water damage, it makes more sense that you invest in preventing leaks ahead of time. As a bare minimum, before each rainy season you should be clearing your gutters, ensuring that they drain at least 3 to 4 feet from your foundation, and checking your roof for any missing or damaged shingles.
Replace Filters & Schedule Tune Ups
Some of your major heating and cooling systems and appliances should also be serviced regularly to prevent them from becoming inefficient or breaking down all together. This means replacing filters in HVAC systems, furnaces, and having a professional perform a tuneup at least once or twice per year. Make sure to also check on the water heater to ensure that it is also performing as it should be.
Patch Cracks & Holes From Top To Bottom
It is also a good idea to inspect your entire property from top to bottom for any defects, holes that need patching, or cracks which could indicate something as major as a foundation problem. Issues that may not have existed six months or a year ago could be quickly becoming a major problem. Do you not glaze over what appears to be a small defect, but rather tackle it upfront so that it does not invite the potential for major and very expensive damage down the line.This includes the walls, floors, ceiling, roof, window and door seals, etc..
Inspect For Lease Agreement Violations
Finally, it’s also important for you or your property manager to perform an inspection of the property at least once per year to see if tenants are upholding their end of the lease agreement. Many times, a landlord will assume that all is well within their unit if they do not receive maintenance requests and are getting their rent on time. Meanwhile, the tenants could be wreaking complete havoc inside the unit and causing damage that you will never be able to recover from. Furthermore, if you are eager to evict the current tenants in hopes of moving in new ones at a higher rental right, this may provide you with the opportunity to identify areas in which the tenants are violating your lease agreement which would give you grounds to file for that eviction.
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