Do-It-Yourself Property Maintenance

Posted by Teresa on September 8, 2009 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tools on tenant screening blogA landlord we know wouldn’t dream of performing his own property maintenance. Show Dave a leaking faucet, and he’s soon pulling out his Blackberry to call a trusted plumber. But this year, Dave is seeing a trend he hasn’t dealt with before—his profits have been squeezed by more tenant turnover and reduced rents.

So Dave has decided to learn how to take care of minor repairs and routine maintenance on his rental properties—and he’s probably not alone! More and more landlords are becoming their own handymen and women. If you’re one of them, here are a few tips and tricks that might come in handy.

  • Use separate tool totes for each area of maintenance. Purchase inexpensive handle totes: blue for plumbing, red for painting, green for general repairs, and so on. Load each tote with the appropriate tools and supplies—and don’t forget to include How-To manuals or books!
  • Each tote should contain an assortment of screwdrivers, screws, bolts, and nuts, as well as gloves appropriate to the task.
  • The general repair tote will serve you well if you stock it with duct tape, wood glue, super glue and drill bits. A level and socket tester will both come in handy, as will a razor blade/knife tool and socket wrench set. A hammer and a rubber mallet are musts.
  • For your plumbing tote, make sure you have channel lock pliers, plumbers’ tape, and an assortment of wrenches.
  • Load your painting tote with painters tape, spackle and a spackle knife, plus touch-up applicators filled with the standard paint colors you use in your properties. These look like shoe polish applicators, and can be found in hardware stores.
  • Cordless tools will be your best friends! Make sure you charge them after each job, so they’re ready to use again.

With economic challenges continuing, you might need to learn how to perform repairs and maintenance on your income property—but remember to call in the professionals for potentially dangerous and complicated jobs, like electrical work and major carpentry or plumbing repairs!

Remember, you are within your rights when screening tenants prior to leasing. For more landlord resources, including forms and information on tenant screening, turn to You’ll know that you have the best possible tenants when you prescreen tenants.