Monday, April 2, 2012

Property Management Maintenance Practices to Preserve Property Values

Owning a rental can of course be a cumbersome task and require continual upkeep and maintenance by the Owner and/or the Property Management Company. The purpose of this article is to summarize some of the best ways to minimize your potential for large capital project costs by performing the routine maintenance that best preserves your property condition.

1. Frequent Inspections

The most important aspect of managing a rental property is performing routine inspections and ensuring that no small condition goes unnoticed. This is where a simple 30 minutes of your time can save you a lot of money down the road. Some Tenants may not report small problems to you and overtime the small leak under the kitchen sink could turn into a $500 repair project. Try to perform an internal inspection at least once every 6 months.

The other aspect about this is keeping in frequent contact with your Tenants. This is where many Land-lords drop the ball and it ends up costing them a lot of money in lost capital. The secret is to treat them like Gold. A Tenant that pays you every month deserves great treatment. Respond to their maintenance problems right away and return their calls right away. When you are not maintaining a great relationship with you Tenants, they will be much more likely to let you know when there is a minor problem BEFORE it develops into a major problem. That is the secret that is will save you a ton of time and energy.

2. Safety Hazards

During your inspections and definitely as soon as you start managing your property, perform a thorough review of all potential safety issues. Look for things like:

- outside trip hazards
- check all smoke alarm batteries
- carbon dioxide alarms
- check chart GFCI outlets respond accordingly
- check for proper grounding and operation of all normal outlets as well
- water heater straps
- cracked windows and all windows operate correctly
- handrail structural sturdiness

3. Water Leaks

Try to time your inspections so that you are there during a rainstorm. This will allow you to perform a roof check. Climb inside the attic and double check that there is no noticeable signs of leakage. This is really more applicable for older homes that may be more susceptible to having a roof leak.

Other places to look for water leaks are under every sink. At every toilet, stand around the bowl on the floor and see if there are any soft spots. If there is anywhere that there is a soft spot, you will need to have that toilet bowl removed and potentially need to repair the wood, but definitely you will need to install a new wax seal. When there is a soft spot around the floor that means that the wax ring is lacking and will ned to be repaired.

The other place is around the tubs and showers. Look for wet spots around the tub, soft spots, etc. that could indicate a leaky area or an enclosure that is not keeping the water in the tub or shower area. Also, keep a close eye for any mold starting, that can be whole different issue and requires immediate attention.

4. HVAC Filters

This is a very common area that Tenants may not keep up on and can cost you money in HVAC equipment. For example, if a Tenant does not regularly replace the filters, then they clog up and restrict airflow. Your heater and air-conditioning systems then have to work proportionally harder to generate the necessary amount of heating and/or cooling to get the temperature set point where you want it. Over time, this takes a toll on your systems and will lead to premature degradation and replacement and repair of a system long before it should have been due, costing you more capital outlay.

1 comment:

  1. Great Information. That sounds pretty cool. Really helpful thanks for the Article, Great job, Keep posting interesting matters here. Looking forward to it. Thanks and keep it up! All the Best.

    Atlanta House For Sale