Now that the kids are starting to return to school, landlords can turn their attention to fall maintenance duties at their rental properties. Now is a good time to schedule routine maintenance and inspections at all your rental units, and see what you’ll need to do over the next few months to prepare for winter.
8 Landlord Tips for Fall:
- Don’t wait until the first cold snap to discover the heat isn’t going to work. Turn on the furnace at your rental properties, and make sure it runs. Give new tenants a lesson on how it works, and what signs for problems to be on the look out for.
- While you’re at it, change the furnace filters. You could even leave several behind and ask tenants to change them on the first of the month (after they pay the rent, of course). If your tenants don’t remember to change them, you’ll have a handy stack to do it yourself next time you stop by.
- Change the batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors. Remind tenants not to remove the batteries—ever—even if the detector is beeping.
- Locate all water shut-off valves. Prevent water emergencies by showing tenants where the water main, water heater, and any other valves are located. Then instruct tenants on how to turn them off in case of emergency.
- Speaking of water heaters, drain a few gallons from the tank through the drain valve to remove sediment that can interfere with performance.
- Remove any outside garden hoses and cover outside faucets. Install inexpensive insulators to prevent freezing pipes—and expensive repairs.
- Check handrails on stairs and railings on decks. Before things start to get slippery, be sure they are in good shape, or repair them if they are not. Making sure all are secure can prevent serious injuries to tenants and visitors.
- Finally, look around while you’re in each unit, to gauge how tenants are treating the property. If you see signs of damage, point out that nipping it in the bud can help them keep more of their security deposit when moving day comes.