Do's And Don'ts Of Property Maintenance

by Administrator 27. December 2016 09:22

Property maintenance is necessary to keep the house in a good condition and helps to save the landlord’s time as well as money in the long run. Regular attention can make it easier to keep a track on the things that are out of order and allows you to take the required actions on time. Every tenant looks for a well-kept house and you can also enjoy a higher occupancy rate by having it upkeep. However, there are some Do’s and Don’ts of property maintenance that the landlord should know:

Do’s

Stage And Upgrade

A staged and well maintained property looks more presentable and the prospective tenant may rent it quickly. Keep the staging simple so that the tenants have enough room to make changes according to their needs. Upgrade the house with modern amenities by replacing the cabinet handles, installing new lamps and changing the faucets in kitchen as well as bathrooms.

Schedule Regular Repairs And Maintenance

Regular maintenance can get a better hold at the problems which can be taken care of instantly. A property maintenance company can be hired to take care of the repair work. The landlord is responsible to keep a check on roaches or pest infestations, leakages and cracks in the walls as well as flooring. If the safety standards are not up to date, the landlord can be asked to provide with new locks, smoke detectors etc.

Invest In The Curb Appeal

Investing in curb appeal plays an important role in attracting a large number of tenants. Most renters base their decision on the first impression they get from looking at the property. If the house looks attractive from the end of the street, more tenants will be drawn towards it. Make sure the exteriors are given equal attention like the interiors.

Take Advice From A Lawyer

A detailed lease agreement is a must to avoid any disputes in future. Take help from a lawyer who is up to date with the state laws to formulate a document that clearly states the issues that the landlord shall address. If the damages are beyond repair, the tenant may be liable to pay for them. You can also claim to keep a part or whole of the security deposit in case of heavy damages like broken windows or cracked floor.

Know Your Responsibilities

Every state has its own laws that define the landlord’s duties for maintaining his rental property. The property should have the basic provisions like heating/cooling system, water and electricity. If you plan to visit the rental home for repair and maintenance, you shall notify the tenant 24-hours prior to the scheduled visit. 

Don’ts

Do Not Delay The Repairs

If you delay the repair work, you may be piling up your expenses for the future. Small issues may turn into bigger problems if not dealt with for a long period of time and may also cast a negative impression on the tenants.

Do Not Let Your Tenant Do The Maintenance

The tenants may not be skilled enough to make a repair and they may end up getting hurt. You should make it a point that the residents inform you about even the smallest of problems so you can address the issue as soon as possible.

Do Not Look For Short Cuts

Temporary fixes do not last long and you may have to deal with a bigger repair later on. Thus the landlord should find a permanent solution for the issues. Use good quality materials and appliances in the house. If you realize that the refrigerator or dishwasher is old, you can replace it before it breaks down or cause inconvenience to your tenants.

Do Not Hide Anything From The Tenants

If you wish to develop a positive relationship with your renters from the start, try to maintain transparency. If the house needs some important repairs, inform the tenants before they move in. In case you do not want your tenants to bring in pets, smoke indoors or repaint the walls, you shall inform them before they sign on the lease agreement.

Do Not Forget To Get An Insurance

Insuring the property can save you from unexpected losses due to fire, theft or natural disasters. The amount of insurance may vary depending upon the size and location of your property. Installing safety measures such as smoke detectors and anti-theft alarms can reduce your insurance costs.

Go through the above mentioned do’s and don’ts before you start with property maintenance to avoid costly repairs.

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Getting Your Rental Home Ready For Winter

by Administrator 19. December 2016 20:14

Now that the winter season is finally here, you must take some important steps to prevent the chilly weather from taking a toll on your rental home. This will not only protect your property from wear and tear, but also save you from unexpected expenses on roofing or plumbing repair. Winterizing your rental home will also allow your tenants to stay comfortably, ultimately reducing the vacancy rate and assuring a consistent income for you.

Given below are some of the tips that can help to get your rental home ready for winter:

  • Tune up the heating system: It is important to check your furnace or HVAC system to make sure that it is working efficiently. Change the filter and clean it thoroughly so that the vents are not blocked. It will help to keep the rental home warm which, in turn, will lower your utility bills. A well-maintained HVAC system will also prevent accidental fires in your property.
  • Ensure sufficient ventilation: As the doors and windows remain closed most of the time, fresh air does not enter the house. Lack of ventilation increases the risk of mold and dampness, particularly near the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. To avoid this, you can ask the tenants to keep the windows open during the day or consider using a dehumidifier to minimize the amount of moisture inside the home.
  • Inspect the roof: Broken or cracked shingles in the roof should be identified and repaired beforehand. Also, check for any leaks in the ceiling as it may indicate blocked gutters. Ensure that the downspouts and gutters are completely clear of any debris or leaves so that the water does not accumulate on the roof.
  • Check the pipes: Drain out water from all the indoor and outdoor pipes. Undrained water can freeze and lead to bursting of the pipe when the ice expands. If you do not have frost free faucets, you can consider insulating your exterior plumbing pipes. Disconnect the garden hoses and shut off the water supply. Ask your tenants to keep the heating system on with a minimum temperature of 50-55 °F when they are not at home. This will save the pipes from freezing and bursting due to subzero temperature.
  • Look out for drafts in doors and windows: Cracks in doors and windows can cause a lot of heat to escape from the home. To avoid this, drafts proof all the windows with weather stripping or caulking. You can also use door sweeps to block spaces under the door. Install curtains or insulate the windows with a plastic film sheet to retain heat inside the home. Prefer buying dark colored curtains made of a thick material to add coziness to the room.
  • Trim shrubs, hedges and branches: Strong winds or accumulation of snow can lead to weakening and falling of the tree branches. Hence, you should trim the overgrown shrubs, hedges and branches so that they do not cause any damage to your tenants or the property. Trimming will also help to prepare your plants for the spring season.
  • Reverse the ceiling fan: If there is a reverse switch in your ceiling fan, turn it on. As the blades of the fan move in the opposite direction, the heat generated by the HVAC system will be pushed down. This can be particularly beneficial for homes with high ceilings. A warmer home will also decrease the load on your thermostat, thereby improving its efficiency.
  • Add rugs and warm beddings: During the winter season, tile and hardwood floors can get quite cold. The best solution for this is to install carpet flooring inside the home. Carpets will also trap the heat and keep your home warmer for a long period of time. You can also place wool rugs near the kitchen, bathroom or other areas where you tend to walk without shoes. The bedding should also be replaced with foamy comforters and fleece blankets so that the tenants do not face any problems. 

For more tips on maintaining your rental home during the winter season, you can contact John Reider Properties at (254) 699 – 8300. You can also visit our office at 455 E. Central Texas Expwy Suite 101, Harker Heights, TX 76548.

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