Each season brings a new wave of routine maintenance for rental property owners and managers. With the first official day of summer only a couple weeks away, actively preparing your rentals for the hot weather months with summer maintenance will keep your property functioning optimally and your tenants happy.
Now is the time to spruce up your common areas and perform routine maintenance and inspections that took a back burner to harsh weather and urgent requests through the colder months.
- Inspect the air conditioning unit – Before your tenants start running the a/c continuously to combat the summertime heat, make sure it is functioning properly before a simple fix becomes an expense repair. Air filters should be checked and changed regularly, either by you or your tenants. A badly clogged filter slows down airflow and could cause a cooling coil to ice up and the unit to shut down. Owners can further invest in the longevity of their air conditioning system by performing their own, or scheduling, a full inspection with a contractor that will include checking thermostats and controls, checking the refrigerant level, tightening connections, lubricating moving parts, checking duct work and the condensate drain, and cleaning the coils and blower.
- Check windows and doors – While inspecting your rental unit, look for gaps or leaks around windows and doors that could let cold air out or hot air in. Taking the time to fix a leak with weather-stripping or caulk, will keep the a/c unit working more efficiently to prevent machine stress and will help out on your tenant’s utility bill.
- Repair or replace damaged window screens – While intentionally damaged screens fall on the responsibility of your tenant, now is a good time to remind them of easy ways to repair or replace a screen. Or offer to do it for them for a fee to help keep bugs and critters out.
- Inspect the attic and basement – Winter storms and spring showers can create excess moisture and condensation that can cause mold or even compromise the structural integrity of your property if ignored. Even if your tenants have access to a basement or attic, it may not be a priority to inspect these areas for mold or water damage if they are not regularly used. You’ll be able to protect your investment by addressing any water damage or excess moisture before it goes unnoticed and causes an expensive repair.
- Test Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms – Although your tenants should monitor their own detectors, maintaining these property features can easily get overlooked by passive tenants. Every detector should have a test button, and batteries should get changed biannually.
- Check and clean dryer vents – Lint and debris can build up overtime in dryer vents, which can damage the appliance and even cause fires. While the dryer is running, check that the exhaust is coming out. If there isn’t much exhaust, check for blockages and clear them as well as you can. You may need a professional. Also may also nee to vacuum the lint from the hose at the dryer.
- Check Your Sprinkler System – When the temperature starts to climb, it is time to turn on the sprinkler system and make sure it’s in good working order. Every system needs a good annual tune-up and the first heat wave of summer is a great time to do it, ensuring no plants will be without water when they need it most. Make sure your irrigation system is programmed to follow any water rationing regulations.
- Summer Pest Control – Bugs love warm weather, including ants, mosquitoes, wasps and spiders. If you choose to use pesticides on your property to prevent insects and pests from invading the grounds, treating your property seasonally will help stop pest before they become a big problem. Don’t forget to check the nooks and crannies of the the exterior of your property for wasp or hornet nests that might pop up this time of year. And advise your tenants on the best way to handle any ants that seek refuge inside your tenants’ homes.
- Get Your Outdoor Amenities Ready – If you property offers outdoor amenities like pools, fire pits or grills, make sure everything is clean and working well. Summertime calls for entertaining in outdoor spaces, and providing your tenants with functioning features is part of the reason they chose to rent from you in the first place – don’t let them down!
- Check in with your tenants – Whether you send out a seasonal tenant newsletter, or simply send them a friendly email, checking in with your tenants at least once a quarter is a great way to stay connected and remind them to be open about communicating any questions or concerns they have about the rental property. This time of year is also a good time to remind your tenants of summer outdoor property rules, like quiet hours or pool rules, and offer tips for tenant summer maintenance like optimum a/c temperatures and city regulated water usage.
A newsletter or email reminder is an easy way to contact your tenants about summer inspections and provide them with tips for how they can get ready for a great summer!