If there's one thing that can ruin your real estate investing strategy, it's home maintenance.
Regular maintenance is essential for maintaining a property's value and keeping occupants safe. Yet, maintenance takes up a lot of time, especially because specific tasks require monthly, quarterly, and/or yearly care.
While you might get away with not following all maintenance tips, there are certain tips you should never skimp out on. Below are some must-dos for your annual home maintenance checklist.
General Wear and Tear
Regardless of how clean and careful your tenants are, it's natural for things to wear down with time. So you'll want to inspect the property for wear and tear each year.
This means refreshing shower caulk and grout, flushing out the drains, and patching any cracks in the ceiling or drywall. When you make these minor touch-ups, you keep your property looking in tip-top shape.
Scheduling a yearly HVAC maintenance appointment is a great way to ensure the system doesn't require sudden repairs throughout the year. You don't want your tenants frantically calling you because the air went out during the dog days of Florida summer.
In addition to a yearly service, also change the air filters regularly. You should change them a minimum of twice a year. However, experts say every three months is best, especially if there is a lot of pet dander or dust buildup.
No one wants to live in a home that's crawling with critters. At least once a year, you need to check the property for pest problems, as it's the landlord's responsibility to prevent and remove pests.
Failing to recognize pests can be a major nuisance, especially since some pests carry bacteria and infections that are a health hazard.
Roof and Gutters
Clogged gutters and damaged shingles can lead to water damage within the property. The water won't drain outward as intended but run down into the ceiling and walls.
Water damage is an expensive problem to fix, especially if mold starts to build up. By checking the roof and gutters yearly, you prevent costly repairs.
You should also check the faucets and toilets for water damage during your walk-through of the property.
Checking the smoke detectors is necessary since smoke and carbon dioxide can be lethal to tenants. Plus, Florida law requires every single and multifamily dwelling have smoke detectors.
If you fail to install smoke detectors properly, your tenants could hold you legally responsible for any accidents should there be a fire.
The water heater is an experience piece of equipment that your tenants will use daily. Consistent use makes it easy for sediment to collect and dirty the water.
It's best to flush the water heater twice a year to prevent it from breaking down and keep it clean.
More Home Maintenance Checklist Tips
While we've listed some essential home maintenance tips here, there are still more you need to complete to ensure your rental property is in the best condition possible.
To get help completing your yearly home maintenance checklist, consider hiring a property management company. Contact us at Gulf Coast Property Management in Bradenton, FL, to learn more about our real estate services.