If you maintain a car by having periodic oil changes, adjustments to timing, interior/exterior detailing and more, it will not only keep the machine in working order but also help with the value when you decide to sell. In short, your vehicle periodically needs a tune-up. It is the same with an investment property; you need to maintain the property in order to keep or increase its value.
With the change of seasons and in particular, the advent of spring, it brings flowers, showers, and hopefully, great weather. However, properties often have a "tired" look after the harshness of winter and it could be that your investment just needs a tune-up. Performing various routine maintenance items is also preventative; this can avoid much larger expenditures. It can also assist with maintaining good tenant relations.
Assess the exterior
A property, like any vehicle, can look and feel tired after winter. Your tenant may be responsible for the general maintenance of the exterior - mowing the grass, keeping flowerbeds cleaned up, minimal pruning of bushes, etc. However, an overall cleanup of the property usually entails more than the tenant's obligation.
An exterior clean up can prevent damage as well as keep your property from becoming the eyesore of the neighborhood. You don't want people to "identify the rental property" as they drive through the neighborhood, particularly prospective tenants if the property is vacant. To prevent that sad look, pay attention to the following items.
- Trim bushes and trees, removing dead branches from winter storms.
- Clear all walkways and driveways of landscape debris and check for damage.
- Repair any roof issues to prevent unnecessary leaks and damage to the inside of the property.
- Clean out gutters as well to prevent unnecessary leaks and damage.
- Check any irrigation systems to ensure they are working properly and adjust for the warmer season. Often pipes and connections crack or split and can cause problems with the first use. This can also waste precious water resources.
- Check for areas that may be collecting water that can lead to problems with pests or cause damage to landscape.
- Have all exterior windows and doors repaired for any leaks or damage.
- Review landscape for any necessary changes and if appropriate, consider adding lower maintenance plants if appropriate.
- Review the exterior paint. Sometimes just touching up the trim can improve the look of a property, preserve exterior wood/siding, and prevent damage. It could be that it is now time for an exterior paint job.
- If appropriate, clean up weeds and debris around the property to prevent unnecessary fires.
Check for pest invasions
More than flowers and showers pop out with spring weather. It is very common to have increased pest problems, such as major infestations of wasps, ants, mosquitoes, and more. While the tenant has some minimal responsibility, pests can become a health issue and therefore, a liability. Ordering a pest control spray for the season could keep this under control.
Don't forget interior maintenance
While occupied, tenants normally report any necessary maintenance. However, it can pay off to have a maintenance tune up of air conditioning/heating units. Once again, this will help prolong the life of the units. In addition, it is a good idea to have the interior windows and doors checked when there is exterior maintenance.
As your property management company, we will be watching and taking care of necessary maintenance and we will contact you if necessary. We want to keep your property "tuned-up" to protect your investment.