Staying on top of preventative maintenance with a checklist is one of landlord’s and property manager’s most important jobs. Doing so ensures that properties are safe and well maintained. Plus, it helps to build strong landlord-tenant relationships and lets tenants know that the landlord is taking care of the property.
Unfortunately, among the many tasks that landlords handle, preventative maintenance is often the first to go. While preventative maintenance takes some time and money, the reality is that staying on top of maintenance will help to save landlords money, time, and headaches in the future.
The best way to stay on top of preventative maintenance is by having a checklist of tasks that need to be completed every year. Better yet, set calendar reminders for each task to ensure that you’re completing all maintenance in a timely manner and that important maintenance isn’t being overlooked.
Here are some items that you’ll want to include on your preventative maintenance checklist:
1. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Before tenants move into a property, landlords should ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly installed throughout the property. These should be located near bedrooms and on all floors of multi-level homes.
At least once a year, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested. As part of this check, it’s a good idea to also look at fire extinguishers. These can be inspected by looking to ensure that there’s no visible damage to the unit, by checking that the expiration date has not passed, and by checking that the seal isn’t broken.
2. Maintain HVAC Units
Regular maintenance of HVAC units is necessary to avoid outages and emergency repairs. Additionally, staying on top of maintenance helps units to run more efficiently and last longer. HVAC units should be professionally serviced at least once a year. However, it’s generally a good idea to do this twice a year – once right before the winter and once before the summer.
Plus, these service calls are also a good reminder to replace air filters, which should be replaced at least twice a year and ideally once every three months.
3. Flush Water Heaters
Water heaters should be drained at least once a year to remove sediment buildup. If this maintenance is skipped, the sediment will continue to build up and cause problems with the unit. Flushing water heaters at least once a year is essential for extending the lifespan of your hot water heaters and for avoiding damaging leaks and emergency repairs.
4. Check for and Address Pest Issues
Even in well-cleaned and maintained properties, pest issues will arise. At least once a year, landlords should thoroughly inspect properties and look for signs of pest issues. Additionally, if tenants have pest concerns, they should be immediately addressed. Insects and rodents can cause substantial damage if not dealt with, so it’s important to be proactive about finding and taking care of any problems.
While it’s an added expense, landlords should consider having regular pest treatments. Whether once a month or once a quarter, doing this can help to avoid bigger problems that not only cause property damage but also drive good tenants away.
5. Check for Water Leaks and Damage
Water damage and leaks are another example of issues that start small and can lead to major problems. To avoid having major issues with mold, mildew, or property damage, it’s important to proactively address areas of water damage.
You can catch these issues early by regularly inspecting all ceilings, windows, showers, toilets, and roofs. Looking for and repairing small issues can help to avoid major damage in the future.
Conclusion – Use a Preventative Maintenance Checklist
One of the best ways to stay on top of preventative maintenance is through annual property inspections. A scheduled walkthrough of all rental properties allows landlords to check for the above issues while also providing an opportunity to ensure that no lease provisions are being violated and that rental properties are being well taken care of.
When scheduling regular walkthroughs, keep in mind that it’s a good idea to see your rental properties during different times of the year to make sure that all systems are working properly. So, rather than scheduling inspections at the same time every year, consider scheduling them every 9 months.
For more information about preventive maintenance or for other practical tips, visit ezLandlordForms resource page.