Two of the most common tenant complaints are maintenance problems and pest infestation. If the case is particularly serious, and the landlord failed to make improvements, the tenant may even sue, causing considerable damage to the rental property’s reputation.
If you’re a landlord or a property manager, you’re certainly avoiding such conflicts. But maintaining an apartment complex, or any other rental property, can prove harder than expected. There would be times when it’s the tenants causing the problems, and instances when only your own carelessness can be blamed.
That said, let’s run through what your maintenance checklist should consist of, so you can avoid complaints and potential legal disputes.
1. Monthly Extermination
Since pests are a common issue in residential units, extermination should be carried out every month. Even if there are no signs of rodents or bugs yet, prevention is still crucial, so you can’t let a month pass without it.
Do not limit the procedure to the affected unit only, as the pests can just move to another part of your property. Rather, have the entire complex undergo the procedure. It may be a bit inconvenient for your tenants, because they’ll need to temporarily vacate their units. But it’s for everyone’s benefit, and they’ll certainly appreciate the preventive measure.
2. Repair of Water Damage and Leaks
If a unit is plagued with molds and leaks, it can already be deemed uninhabitable. Hence, have a professional inspect your property for water damage and leaks when they’re most likely to occur, such as after a heavy rain, when snow melts, and on humid days when the pipes may build moisture.
Leaks may also result from damaged shower caulking and tile grout, so include those in your maintenance checklist as well. Tiny details like these are crucial in inspections, as serious issues can originate from those. If you fail to immediately address molds and leaks, you risk losing a tenant or being sued.
3. Electrical Safety Checks
It is important to have a licensed electrician inspect your property’s fuse board, wiring, and general electrical system to ensure your tenants’ safety. You must receive a detailed electrical installation condition report afterwards, and once you learn about the issues found by the electrician, you must act immediately to have them repaired. Neglecting electrical issues may result in a fire hazard, which may also affect the neighboring properties.
4. Testing of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Speaking of fire hazard, you must ensure that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your property are working. The average lifespan of a smoke detector is ten years, while it’s five years for a carbon monoxide detector, so replace them once they hit those marks.
You may also face legal issues if those devices are found to be dysfunctional, so never forget to schedule tests.
5. Regular Air Filter Replacements
Air filters in HVAC systems are required to be changed regularly. This prevents high energy bills and potential damage to the appliance. Tenants may be paying for their unit’s utilities, but it remains your responsibility to maintain them.
6. Water Heater Maintenance
Sediment builds up inside water heaters over time. Hence, drain the water heaters once or twice a year to remove the sediment and increase the efficiency of the device.
7. Roof Cleaning
Roof and gutter issues are also common sources of leaks, so have them inspected and cleaned periodically. To reduce your expenses for professional gutter cleaning, purchase a gutter guard, which will keep debris from settling in the gutters.
With these tasks on your preventive maintenance checklist, your rental property will always possess the ideal living conditions. Thus, your tenants will feel safe and secure, and you’ll garner positive reviews and lower turnover rates.