As a landlord, your property is an investment and a business. Exterior home maintenance doesn't just keep your tenants happy; it also ensures that your property will be easy to sell if you decide to sell it. A home that falls into disrepair can be very difficult to fix, ultimately costing more in time and money to repair it than it would have to maintain it.
Nevertheless, you can't always trust your tenants to take care of things such as the exterior. Read on to learn three maintenance tips for your rental property.
1. Complete an Annual Inspection
In addition to a regular walk-through of the interior, schedule an annual inspection of your home's exterior. Your annual inspection should include the following tasks:
- Check the roof and the gutters. Not only should you look for roof damage, but you should also make sure that the gutters have been properly cleaned and maintained. Most tenants are responsible for this cleaning themselves, but you should still check that they do it properly.
- Look for chipped paint or damaged siding. When your home's exterior falls into disrepair, your home's prices aren't going to be far behind it. Damaged siding can eventually lead to structural damage, while chipped paint will steadily spread.
- Check the foundation. Look for any foundation cracks or issues that could indicate that the foundation is shifting. Foundation problems need to be caught early. If there are trees or shrubs growing near your foundation, remove them.
- Look for cracks around windows and doors. Are the frames around the windows or doors cracking? Are there drafts? If so, you should replace the windows eventually, but in the meantime, you can seal any cracks with caulk.
- Inspect the yard. Most tenants are responsible for the yard work. If your tenants are responsible, you may want to inspect for any dead trees or shrubs or an accumulation of grass or leaves.
There are some things you're responsible for and some things the tenant is responsible for. In general, anything that has to do with maintaining the structure of the house (such as roof repairs and maintenance) is going to fall on you.
2. Consider Scheduling a Yard Service
Many landlords have issues with their tenants because their tenants will fall behind with their yard maintenance. Tenants may let yards grow wild or may not properly take care of their trees. Scheduling a yard service can be beneficial to both you and them. A yard service will maintain your property, and the use of one will help you avoid costly fees from the city or from your homeowner's association.
Some issues can have devastating consequences, such as a dead tree that falls into a neighbor's yard causing property damage. Depending on how extensive your landscaping is, a yard service could be a necessity for reducing risk.
3. Upgrade and Update When Necessary
A homeowner can wait till something breaks to replace it. A landlord needs to be a little more proactive. Think about how old the major components of your property is and schedule them for replacement when applicable.
Roofs will generally last 20 to 30 years, while siding may last anywhere from 20 to 40 years depending on how thick it is. If your roof or siding is approaching the end of its life, consider replacing it now, so you can stagger out your expenses.
Likewise, you may want to consider replacing windows or doors proactively to improve the value and the insulation of your home.
Of course, if you have a sizable inventory of properties, you may have difficulty maintaining them all. That's where the professionals come in. Wheatley Siding Windows & Guttering provides a complete residential property maintenance service to ensure that your rental home continues to bring in income for a long time. Schedule a consultation with Wheatley Siding Windows & Guttering today.