There is a lot to keep track of, and a lot of tasks to complete, when you set up a new rental property. But one of the most important things you can do is create a rental property maintenance plan. Whether the property is your first rental, your fifth, or your 50th, you’ll want a maintenance plan customized for each location. Following the plans will help you keep track of routine maintenance needs and identify minor issues before they become major repairs.
Some maintenance items will be applicable across most or all of your properties. However, each property has unique characteristics (a pool, out buildings, or older construction) that make it worthwhile to customize each home’s plan.
Establishing a regular maintenance schedule also gives you the opportunity to inspect your rental property on a regular basis.
Here is a quick list to get you started with a basic rental property maintenance plan for each of your investment properties:
- Lawn care during the growing season
- Snow and ice removal after winter storms
- Check pipes and exterior faucets in the winter
- Leaf and tree limb removal in the fall
- Pest control
- Replace burned out light bulbs
- Check for minor needed repairs
- Replace HVAC filters
- Interior/exterior inspection for needed repairs
- Check windows and screens for tears or breaks
- HVAC inspection (generally in late spring and late fall)
- Paint and/or siding inspection
- Gutter and drainage inspection and cleaning
- Inspect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers
- Check appliances, ceiling fans, electrical outlets and switches
- Inspect exterior paint for peeling and cracking, and siding for holes or cracks
- Look for damage to the roof and repair any potential leaks
- Check fire escapes; make sure they are safe and clear
Move In/Move Out
- Major (non-emergent) repairs like roof work and siding
- Update appliances if needed
- Interior painting or remodeling
- Replace heating or air conditioning units
Related article: Why Every Rental Home Owner Needs a Reserve Fund
After you have added all the necessary tasks to your rental property maintenance plan, you’ll need to prioritize what to take on when. Your first priority should always be tenant safety.
Tasks like ensuring the property has working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, cleared emergency exits, undamaged stairs and railings, and sufficient exterior lighting should be at the top of your to-do list.
You’ll also want to take care of any items that could become larger repairs in the future.
Think roof leaks, rotting wood, running faucets or toilets, clogged gutters, etc.
Once your property is in proper order for occupancy, sticking with a regular maintenance and repair schedule should keep you on top of most typical issues. There will be times when the unexpected happens, and you’ll have to make an emergency repair. But the last thing you want is for that to happen at a time when a lot of regular maintenance tasks have piled up.
Take care of the predictable stuff, and you’ll have more time and money to tackle the truly unexpected.
Related article: How to Handle Your Rental Emergency
If all of this sounds like more than you want to take on as a property owner, get in touch with us at Greyhaven. We have years of experience managing properties right here in the Chattanooga area, and we can help take some of the stress of being a landlord off your shoulders.