For those in Abingdon, the smell of pumpkin spice, the changing of the leaves, the crisp cool air, and a hint of the holidays have already made their big debuts.
And, for rental property owners, this means it is yet again time for your annual fall rental property maintenance inspections.
Whether you are the type of property owner who takes a proactive approach to property maintenance, or the kind that leaves some summer maintenance issues for the cooler months, now is the best time to get your rental property inspected, maintenanced, and repaired before the snowy days are upon you, and doing these things becomes a much bigger challenge.
Today we are going to explore the best tips for keeping your investment property in tip-top shape as fall quickly approaches.
Keep in mind – regular inspections are the key to preventing costly repairs in the future.
Fall Maintenance Guidelines for Your Abingdon Rental Property
1. Check in With Your Tenants
One of the most important things you can do during your annual fall property inspection is check in with your tenants.
Your tenants will be able to tell you firsthand what things need attention (assuming they haven’t already made maintenance or repair requests with your Abingdon property manager).
The information they tell you is perfect for getting your priorities in line during the inspection.
Additionally, checking in on your tenants gives you an opportunity to make sure they are fulfilling their lease obligations.
In the beginning of the lease term, right before your tenants moved into your rental property, you and your property management company should have thoroughly outlined each lease provision that was included in the agreement.
Your tenants may have agreed to things such as changing the HVAC unit filters, monitoring smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries, and even maintaining the exterior landscaping. Now is the time to check up on those obligations, and make sure your property is being well cared for.
Now is also the time to get a handle on tenant issues that are beginning to become problems.
2. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
We mentioned above that your tenants might be in charge of replacing the batteries in both the smoke and CO detectors.
Though that may be the case for your rental, it is still your legal responsibility in Abingdon to provide working detectors in your rental properties.
If you didn’t check the detectors during summer, follow up on the batteries and make sure they have been switched out.
In addition, run some tests to make the detectors are in good working order.
Lastly, provide your tenants with a gentle reminder to check the detectors regularly throughout their tenancy.
Before the winter months hit and the warmth of a fireplace becomes necessary, ensure that your rental’s fireplace is swept clean and is free of debris.
Blocked chimneys are fire hazards that cannot only harm your tenants, but the structure of your property as well.
In addition, now may be a good time to consider installing an animal-proof chimney cap.
When the cold winter months come, small critters have a tendency to seek out warm places to live. A fireplace that goes unused all winter can be a great hiding spot for animals seeking shelter from the cold, wind, and snow.
4. Irrigation Systems
Fall weather typically brings a lot of rainfall to Abingdon.
This means that resetting your rental’s sprinkler system may be in order, since the weather will not be hot, and your landscaping will not require excessive watering.
In an effort to save on water, as well as prevent your property’s pipes from freezing as the outside temperatures start to drop during nightfall, you should do the following:
- Begin winterizing your irrigation systems
- Change your landscaping’s watering schedule
- Inform your tenants of what to do in the case of a frozen or burst pipe
5. Roof Inspections
Roof repairs are one of the most costly repairs you will deal with as a rental property owner. That’s why conducting a roof inspection every season is so critical.
Not only can the hot summer months wreak havoc on your roof – think heat and humidity – the upcoming fall months, which will quickly turn into winter months, can ruin your roof too, especially if there is prior damage.
Ice, wind, sleet, snow, rain – you name it. All of this can damage roof shingles, leak into the insulation, wood, and drywall of your roof, and expose your property’s plumbing and HVAC systems to water damage.
If you are not sure how to inspect your roof properly, enlist the help of a professional to do it for you.
The cost of having your roof properly maintained by an expert will save you a lot of money in the future.
6. Inspect Safety Issues
Another major concern that property management companies warn property owners about is fall safety.
And no, we don’t mean “fall” as in autumn safety – we mean “fall” as in slip-and-fall.
As a rental property owner, you may be liable for damages and safety.
Rain and snow, paired with major drops in temperatures with the potential to freeze water left on sidewalks, driveways, and railways, can be very dangerous to tenants leasing your Abingdon rental property.
And, while you may not necessarily be liable for an icy slip-and-fall, if your tenants can prove you were negligent in some way, and that your actions created an unsafe environment for them, you might find yourself dealing with some legal troubles.
This is just another reason why having an experienced Abingdon property management team is important. They can help you with landlord-tenant disputes such as these and of course, help you to prevent these situations from ever happening in the first place.
7. Prepare for Snow Removal
Though snow removal typically falls on your tenant to handle, you may offer to take care of snow removal for your tenants as an added bonus for being good tenants that pay on time, treat your property right, and don’t cause any problems for you.
If this is the case, it is time you get your snow removal services in line – before the first big snowfall. This will prevent your tenants from being snowed in, or falling and suing you for damages.
If your tenants are responsible for snow removal, fall is the best time to remind them of their duties. Point out in the lease agreement where it states they are in charge of snow removal, and remind them of the consequences for failing to do so, especially in the case that someone gets hurt.
Your Abingdon property management company is going to be your best resource when it comes to how you should prepare your rental property for the upcoming fall season. If you own rental property in the Abingdon region, contact Bay Management Group today and see how we can help you.
We understand the need for seasonal rental inspections. We also understand how valuable your investment property is, and how important it is to stay on top of any maintenance or repair issues throughout the year, not just as the seasons change, so that you can continue to generate as much income as possible.
Get in touch with us today, and find out how our property management services can help you with property inspections, and so much more.