When property owners focus on keeping maintenance costs down by doing repairs only as needed, they can face more costly repairs in the long run. Being proactive with repairs can save you money and preserve your property’s worth.
Most landlords perform maintenance tasks in response to tenant complaints or during turnover. Yet some minor problems aren’t noticed by long-term tenants and if left unattended can lead to expensive repairs. By scheduling biyearly inspections, you can find and repair small problems before they become bigger.
Take for example a leaking roof. Undetected, this problem can easily escalate causing damage to interior walls, electrical wiring and structural damage. It can also lead to mold. This one small problem can lead to thousands of dollars in repair costs. Whereas a regularly inspected roof can be repaired cheaply before any interior damage can occur.
To detect small problems before they become bigger, consider scheduling an inspection on your property in the Spring and Fall. The inspection should cover the following items:
1. Roof: Inspect the roof and flashing and do repairs while they are minor.
2. HVAC: Change the filter and have the system inspected in the Spring and Fall. Regular maintenance will help you get the full use of your system. A biyearly inspection and maintenance charge is much less costly than replacing the system and will keep your tenants happy. Happy tenants are long term tenants, saving in renovation and marketing costs.
3. Gutters: Many property owners don’t want to invest in the cost of gutters, much less gutter guards. Yet these can save in costly repairs. Gutters funnel water away from the unit helping to keep the basement and crawlspace dry and mold free. Regular inspections will alert you to any damage to the gutters or downspouts. It will also let you know if the gutters need cleaning to prevent water from backing up into the roof. Consider installing guards for your gutters at properties that have a lot of trees. This expense will pay for itself over time by reducing the need for cleaning.
4. Caulking: Inspect the caulking on exterior windows and ensure the seals are still intact. Caulking deteriorates over time and must be replaced to keep the elements out and keep your sills from rotting. Also inspect the caulking around the tubs and sinks and repair as needed. This will keep water from leaking behind walls causing mold and compromising the wood.
5. Water Heaters: Inspect, drain and descale water heaters: Water heaters have the potential to create high cost repairs. Checking every couple of years will help ensure the water heater works correctly and doesn’t leak causing damage to expensive flooring and leading to mold damage.
You are in this to make money. By keeping your home in good condition, your tenants will be happier and stay longer, your repairs will be minor and when you are ready to sell, your home will command a higher price.