Rental maintenance is not a favorite topic among landlords, but it’s necessary. If you stay on top of maintenance throughout the year, you can avoid serious breakdowns and repairs. Plus, if you’ve been saving a portion of your rental income for these maintenance items, keeping up will be easy.
When approaching outstanding repairs and maintenance, it’s often wise to tackle items season to season. The weather affects a lot of how your property is being used and periodic maintenance will help you avoid major problems.
If you own property in the Houston area, as most of our landlords do, you know how hot Houston summers can be. This usually calls for repairs and maintenance to mitigate damages from the elements. As the summer approaches, here are a few things you should fix:
HVAC or Air Conditioning
In a perfect world, you’d repair the air conditioning or full HVAC system in the spring or winter when the demand for repairs are low. However, these systems usually don’t break until the unit is expected to work overtime in the heat of summer, and according to laws that require the landlord to provide a livable space, you’ll need to have it repaired within a few days to avoid breaking your lease agreement.
If you can, have the AC unit inspected during the late spring or early summer before the demand for AC services rises, and it’s difficult to find an available technician. They might be able to identify a potential problem before it’s too late.
If your tenant informs you of a leak, tend to it as soon as possible. A leaky roof can cause severe damage to your siding, insulation, and shingles, causing a serious and expensive repair that could be avoided if you took care of the problem immediately.
Don’t ignore leaky sinks or pipes either. A leak might sometimes be as simple as tightening the pipes, but it could also indicate a more complex issue. Addressing it immediately will help you avoid more serious problems.
Avoid the heat of outside repairs and check out the appliances inside your rentals. Refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and washing machines don’t last forever, and it’s often more affordable to maintain appliances than it is to replace them.
If you need to replace any of your appliances, consider choosing more affordable options, like slightly outdated models, showroom floor models, and gently used refrigerators. You can save significantly this way while ensuring your tenants have operating appliances.
Summer heat unfortunately drives insects and small rodents inside, and a pest infestation must be handled immediately. Replace or install pest control, such as bug zappers, roach deterrents, and mouse stations at the start of summer. If there’s evidence of an infestation, call pest control immediately and seal up holes or cracks that could be the infestation’s entry point.
Houston poses a few risks of natural disasters, including extreme heat, flooding, tropical storms, severe thunderstorms, and the rare tornado or earthquake. Use this time to inspect your rentals for proper safety measures.
Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries at least once per year to avoid malfunctions. If it’s been more than 10 years since the units were installed, replace them altogether.
Inspect windows, doors, weather stripping, storm doors, roof flashing, and other areas around the home to ensure they’ll stand up to severe weather as well.
Thanks to the humidity and moisture of the Houston area, most yards use less water than many parts of the country. However, a functional sprinkler system is usually necessary to keep your yard looking green.
Check the sprinkler system to ensure it’s working properly. Not only will this keep your system in working order, but it could help you catch a leaky or broken pipe before it saturates your grass with water, potentially killing the lawn and flooding the home or building.
As a general rule, windows need to be replaced every 15-20 years, although some of the more energy-efficient models last up to 25 years. Replacing windows will keep your tenants comfortable and safe while raising your property values.
Many windows have a 10-25-year warranty. Check with the window manufacturer to see if yours qualify, potentially leading to huge replacement savings.
While most of your landscaping additions and updates should have been done in the early spring, stay on top of your yard maintenance throughout the summer. This will protect your yard from overgrowth, excessive pests, and plant diseases that spread quickly. Come winter and spring, your yard will be in much better shape because you kept up with it.
Consider hiring out your landscaping needs. What would take you a full day could be done in a couple of hours by a professional team who’s used to the Houston heat.
It might be time to refresh the exterior of your rental property, especially if you have vacancies and are trying to attract new tenants. Consider power washing your siding to give it a fresh, clean look.
If paint is starting to chip, peel, or warp, it might be time to paint. The last thing you want is for water to infiltrate your siding so that it has to be replaced. Maintaining paint and your home’s exterior is the best way to keep the outside of your property in good repair and looking great.
Contact Green Residential for Property Management Services Today!
This is a long list of potential repair and maintenance needs for your properties, which can be quite overwhelming to organize by yourself. When you need help facilitating all of these repairs, let us take over. Our property management team can help you find, hire, and monitor repairs so that you can sit back and enjoy your summer.
For more information, contact us today!