It is not surprising that rental property maintenance ranks among the significant pain points for landlords. It demands year-round vigilance and a substantial amount of money and time. But it does not mean that property owners cannot overcome the maintenance struggles.
In this guide, experts at RTI Properties- a premier rental property management company in Los Angeles- discuss practical seasonal maintenance tasks to keep your rentals in top shape throughout the year.
Table of Contents
- Spring Maintenance
- Summer Maintenance
- Rental Property Fall Maintenance
- Winter Maintenance
The winter months are over, and people are more energized and motivated. The spring blooms will come calling, and your tenants will gather outside more often to enjoy the sunshine. Keep the property residents happy and comfortable by completing the following spring maintenance tasks:
» Spruce Up Your Landscape
A professional rental property management expert will tell you that there is more to curb appeal than the appearance of your property. It will also get you more tenants and higher rental rates. It, therefore, pays to spruce up your landscape, especially at the onset of the spring blooms.
Spring landscaping can involve planting eye-catching perennials, pruning flower trees and fruit trees, and lawn overseeding & aeration.
» Inspect HVAC
There is a likelihood your tenants had the HVAC system working hard during the cold winter season. Proper maintenance can get your system in top working condition, extend its lifespan, and postpone a costly replacement.
Clear the drainage hole, remove debris around the outdoor part of the system, and ask your tenants to replace their filters. Have a professional service your system once you have completed the DIY tasks.
» Inspect the Roof
Roofs often take the biggest hit during winter. That is why it is essential to check for possible roof damage, including missing, cracked, or loose shingles. A thorough inspection by a professional can address minor issues before they escalate into costly affairs.
» Clear Gutters
It is vital to check your gutters before and after the wet season. Winter storms can bring along loose debris, which can clog your gutter and downspout, leading to a leaky roof and possible water damage to the property’s exterior.
You can remove small leaves and twigs by hand or with a handheld leaf blower. Consider flushing out dirt and small particles using a garden hose.
» Address Unsafe Amounts of Moisture
Winter and moisture buildup go hand in hand. But unsafe moisture levels can be a recipe for disaster- think about damage to building materials, mold growth, and health hazards.
Winter storms can cause small puddles in the basement or attic. If left unattended, the puddles can form the breeding ground of mold growth and cause structural damage. The water can be removed using a wet-dry vacuum or push broom. Hire a professional plumber to fix any leak that could be encouraging mold growth in your rental property.
Summer is the peak moving season and is always a busy time for both property owner and rental property Management Company. Regardless, the comfort and safety of your tenants should be a priority. Keep in mind the following summer maintenance tasks.
» Pool Safety and Cleanliness
If your property has a pool, prime it for summer splashes. Ensure all posted safety signs are legible to everyone and verify that your pool fencing can keep children off the swimming pool when it’s closed. The fence should be a least 1.2-meter high with rails no more than 10 cm apart.
You can post rule signs around the pool and send a copy of the rules to each tenant to empathize safety precautions. Also, having safety equipment (think rescue tubes, life rings, and first aid kit) in a marked area near the pool can make an incredible difference in an emergency.
Once you implement all the safety measures, have the pool cleaned and readied for your residents to enjoy.
» Gathering Area Preparation
Properties with community areas for summer are more inviting. But having one is not enough to meet your tenants’ needs. Fully equip the space for maximum comfort.
Ensure the outdoor lighting fixtures are clean and illuminate the outdoor gathering area well. You can choose to provide built-in benches, porch swings, or just a basic sitting area. BBQ pits are also an excellent highlight for gathering spaces. Have them stocked with fuel and cleaned.
» AC Service
Hotter weather may strain your AC system. This demands that you check to ensure your air conditioning units are ready for the summer heat.
Clogged and dirty air filters can impede airflow, resulting in the AC unit seizing up. Clean or replace your filters to prevent such situations. You also want to make sure the outdoor condensers are free of leaves, branches, and other debris for optimal airflow.
Also, have an HVAC contractor check thermostats and controls, change belts and hose (if needed), tighten connections, check refrigerant levels and ductwork, lubricate moving parts, and clean the coils and blower.
» Fire Safety
Several parts of California are no stranger to the devastation wildfire causes. It, therefore, helps to eliminate any fire danger.
Take care of dead plants and have trees and bushes around your property trimmed. Take fire safety a notch higher by removing litter from rain gutters and roofs and placing grills and woodpiles away from the buildings.
Ensure carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors are in prime working condition for your tenants’ safety and peace of mind. Replace the gadgets’ batteries at least annually.
» Pest Control
Spiders, wasps, ants, mosquitoes, and several other bugs can be a nightmare during summer. Stay on top of rental property bug-proofing with the following tips:
- Install screens on all windows to keep away insects. Screens ensure your tenants get the natural ventilation they so much need during summer while safeguarding their rooms against pests.
- Seal any gaps or cracks around the doors and big enough to let in bugs. You can install an aluminum or steel threshold under the door to prevent pests from crawling underneath the door.
- Repair any damaged, rotting, missing, or loose sections in the rental property’s exterior.
- Because bugs are attracted to trash and debris, encourage tenants to store and dispose of food waste properly.
Rental Property Fall Maintenance
» Get Rid of Overhanging Branches
Trimming overhanging branches is a critical part of autumn rental property maintenance. Ice storms are common, and ice-laden branches overhanging the roof could break and damage the roof. What’s more, the branches are a common source of roof debris attributed to ice dams. Still, they can provide pests like rats and squirrels easy access into the attic.
» Rake the Leaves
Autumn cannot be complete without falling leaves. However, the leaves are not a spectacular sight when scattered all over your property- raking them becomes a part of fall maintenance. But rakes are not your only option when it comes to removing the autumn leaves. A leaf blower may be noisy but helps you perform the task faster.
» Check Weatherstripping
Draft penetrating unsealed windows and doors can make tenants uncomfortable and even drive up their heating bills. Autumn is the best time to replace cracked or shrinking foam weatherstripping after the harsh, foam-degrading summer heat and before the onset of cold winds.
» Clean the Gutters
Falling leaves can clog the gutter, increasing the likelihood of ice dam formation and gutter damage. Cleaning the cutters prevents ice dams and ensures the gutter does its job of directing water away from the property, thus preventing structural damage.
» Patch Holes
Small animals tend to seek refuge in the basements, wall insulation, and attics during the cold winters. Prevent possible pest infestation by patching small holes with foam spray or caulk and larger holes with plywood, sheet metal, or wire mesh.
» Check Your Roof and Attic
Roofs bear the brunt of rain, snow, ice, wind, and rapidly changing temperatures and humidity. And roof damage can put your rental property at risk of serious issues, including mold growth, structural damage by water, and pest infestation. Have a qualified roofing contractor check your roof for missing/loose shingles and other issues to avert costly damage.
Do not forget to check your attic’s insulation. Damaged or poorly installed attic insulation encourages ice dam formation, which can prevent melted snow from sliding off the roof. The added weight can make the roof sag or collapse. Avoid spending hundreds of dollars in roof repair by addressing your attic insulation damage at the soonest time possible.
» Prune Trees
Ice and wind can effortlessly bring down unstable branches onto your property’s roof and exterior, creating a costly situation. The falling limbs can obstruct paths and harm residents. Therefore, inspect trees for damaged or dead branches that should be cut before they cause harm or damage.
Additionally, clean the gutters to prevent water from damaging your rental property’s foundation or exterior.
» Winterize the Pipes
Repairing frozen pipes is a huge investment, so it is worth the time to protect your plumbing from winter bites.
Wrap uninsulated pipes to safeguard them against freezing and bursting when temperatures drop. Instruct your tenants to disconnect any hose connections and drain all liquid before storing the hoses. Also, advise them to maintain a faucet or two dripping throughout to prevent the water from freezing in the line.
» Have Large Appliances Serviced
Water heaters and furnaces are the most used appliances in winter as temperature drops, and tenants spend more energy to keep their spaces comfortable. Have a professional HVAC technician service these systems to ensure maximum comfort for your tenants.
» Insulate Structures
You will want to check the interior seals on all doors and windows to ensure they are free from cracks and leaks. Broken seals and rotten wood can allow water or cold air to get into your tenant’s space. Sealing the door and windows and insulating the attic, crawl spaces, and other open areas helps keep away damaging moisture and improve the HVAC system’s efficiency.
The Bottom Line
The above are seasonal rental property maintenance tasks to ensure maximum tenant satisfaction and prevent costly damages.
Struggling to stay attuned to a regular rental property maintenance schedule? If so, RTI Properties can take the burden of rental property management off your shoulders, freeing up the time and energy you need to focus on other things that matter most to your life and real estate business.
Contact property managers, RTI Properties, Inc. today, or call us now at 310-532-9122 to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about our property management services in Southern California.