Owning rental property means that costs relating to property maintenance and repairs falls squarely on your shoulders. You want these costs to be as small as possible while still keeping your properties in tip top condition. Here are some tips on how you can save money on your rental properties with basic maintenance. Keeping everything running smoothly means you get to hang on to good tenants longer, it is win-win all the way around.
Check Smoke Detectors
You always want your smoke detectors in good working order, this is key to saving lives and minimizing damage should the unthinkable happen and a fire break out. Most municipalities will send the fire department around for <a href="http://www.firetechs.net/faqs/fire_alarm_inspection_faq.asp">annual inspections</a> and the fines can be pretty hefty if your smoke detectors aren?t fully functioning.
This is another way to prevent fires from happening. At least every decade or so have a fully licensed electricianinspect the wiring. If you supply fridges, stoves or any other electrical appliances they need to be safe before a tenant comes in.
As with electrical if you supply gas stoves or furnaces then the onus falls on you as the landlord to make sure they are working properly. You will need the inspections done by someone qualified. Check with your gas company they should be able to recommend someone or have an approved list of third party inspectors.
Mowing lawns and pruning trees on your property are your responsibility as well. You will have to trim branches that get too close to the property or go near the foundation. You can end up with unwanted insects and vermin if you don?t and those are much bigger problems.
Even if you have never seen a bug or a rodent on your property you still want to get regular inspections. Look for signs of damage from ants, termites, bedbugs or any other bugs. If you have a prolonged infestation then getting rid of them is difficult, destructive and expensive.
At least once every few years have a plumber come in and inspect your drains, look for water damage and make sure your sewage is going where it is supposed to. Plumbing problems are rarely simple and never cheap so the sooner you can get them under control the better.
You need to check your roof for curling shingles, moss, and make sure that the gutters are cleaned out and water runs through them smoothly, this will lhelp prevent water damage. If you have a chimney it needs to be cleaned at least once a year to get rid of creosote. This will also help prevent chimney fires.
Your heating and air conditioning system need to be checked at least once a year and filters should be changes. This will keep heating costs low and keep your system running efficiently for years.
Check the Grout
Grout in the kitchen and bathroom can dry out and crack. This doesn?t sound like much of a big deal but grout prevents water from getting into places you don?t want it to be. Water damage and the ensuing repairs are very expensive and that?s the last thing you need. Grout is a small thing that you can handle yourself so stay on top of it. Here is a video showing you how to put in grout.
While paint is more cosmetic than anything else, you should still repaint rental properties when tenants move out. Inspecting the paint will also give you the chance to check for things like water damage.