Purchasing a rental property is only half the battle. Keeping it well-maintained and attractive to future tenants can be a completely different animal. There are plenty of unfortunate incidents that could deteriorate your investment property; everything from unruly tenants to the wrath of Mother Nature can cause damage to the interior or exterior of your rental spot. Let’s be honest, we all know Philly gets its fair share of heavy snow and rowdy sports fans, after all. Despite the best screening practices and proactive measures, things do happen when you’re a landlord. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your property and keep it looking its best as the years march on.
The last thing you want is to find out your property is destroyed after someone moves out. The longer you wait to make repairs, the more expensive the bills will be. By conducting routine inspections, you can catch hazards before they turn into huge expenses.
Here are five great tips you should use to maintain your Philadelphia rental property:
1. Inspect the Roof
Have your roof inspected by professionals at least every 8-10 years. Roofers will look for signs of leaks, which can cause mold and other serious problems inside your property. They’ll also check for damaged flashing, missing shingles, and mold or moss buildup.
2. Check for Escaping Air
Gaps between windows, doors, and chimneys can cost you substantially in the long run. They let cool air out in the summer and let cold air in when winter comes. Air gaps also allow for the possibility of moisture damage to your property, as well as to the belongings of your tenants.
By sealing gaps, you’ll cut down on your energy bill and save yourself from receiving calls from frustrated tenants when temperatures become extreme.
3. Keep Tabs on Your HVAC
Change the filters regularly and be sure to have your full HVAC system inspected by professionals twice a year, just before the weather switches over. This will ensure your tenants have heat in the winter and air in the summer (if your property offers air conditioning). HVAC pros will check for signs of corrosion and repair, or replace parts as needed. It’s important to get in front of this type of maintenance before you leave your tenants out in the cold.
4. Check in with Your Tenants
Keeping great tenants happy is really the number one priority. You don’t have to be invasive to ensure they’re enjoying their space. An infrequent email or phone call, asking if they need anything from you, is enough to show you care about their experience. This opens the lines of communication in the event something does happen down the line.
Also, physically inspecting the property every three to six months will show you how well the property is being taken care of.. Be sure to check for any water staining that may have gone unnoticed, any dripping pipes under the sinks, buildup on the furnace filter (if your property has them, whether the bathtub needs to be caulked, and much more. Conducting these inspections will provide preventative maintenance and can be a deciding factor when deciding to renew the current tenants lease.
5. Clean out the dryer vents to prevent a lint fire!
This always seem to go unnoticed and can truly be life-threatening. Always have the dryer vents cleaned every five years or so. When trying to keep long-term tenants, the last thing you want to do is allow the house to catch fire by not having the dryer vent cleaned. This can be done by simply unhooking the dryer vent from the dryer and cleaning from that direction.
6. Preventative measures for frozen pipes
You will need to thoroughly explain how to shut the water off to any exterior hose bibs. By winterizing the frozen pipes correctly, your chances of bursting pipes greatly diminish. If for any reason your tenant is going out of town for a few days or weeks be sure to have them notify you. You will need to thoroughly explain to the tenant the issues with turning the heat off or below 50 degrees. Inform the tenant to leave the heat on at 55+ degrees and open all cabinets that have water piping in them so that the heat from the vents, radiators, or baseboard heater can reach the water pipes and prevent them from freezing.
Rental property maintenance can be difficult for property owners to keep up with. You never know when something will break, flood, or need to be replaced. That’s why Bay Property Management Group is here! With our 24/7 on-call staff standing by to take care of whatever mishaps may happen, you can rest easy knowing your place is well cared for. Learn what it’s like to be a client of one of Philadelphia’s premier property management firms today!