The old saying “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” should not apply to landlords and their rental properties.   Routine maintenance can save a landlord thousands of dollars in costly repairs.  Follow these 7 tips and reap the benefits of having a well-maintained home.

  1. Check for leaks- Fixing a water leak early can save you from costly mold remediation and wall/ceiling repairs.  Check around windows, sinks, showers, toilets, and water heaters.  Make sure you re-caulk your showers and bathtubs once a year as well as ceiling your tile grout.  Also, check ceilings for water pockets or stains.  The best time to do this is after it rains or after the snow melts.
  2. Replace air filters- Prolong the life of your furnace by replacing air filters at least once a month.  Being that you cannot really be in your home once a month, purchase a year’s worth of filters, make a condition in your lease that the tenant must replace the filter once a month, and send out email reminders.
  3. Regularly test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors- Test and replace batteries once a year and also make this a lease requirement for your tenant.  Going in once a year to replace the batteries is a good excuse to see how the tenants are treating your property.
  4. Repaint your property-  Don’t wait until you see cracked or peeling paint to re-paint.  Keeping your paint fresh inside and out can extend the life of your building and appeal to prospective tenants.  It can also be a lease renewal incentive that benefits you and your tenant.
  5. Update your wiring- Making sure your wiring is up to date, especially in older homes, it is important for your tenant and building safety.  It is also a feature to point out when renting your home.
  6.  Check for pests- An infestation can cost a landlord thousands of dollars.  Providing routine pest control service can avoid this and be another leasing incentive.
  7.  Flush your water heater annually- Flushing your water heater can extend the life of the heater, especially in areas where hard water is an issue.  Hard water can corrode the inside of the tank and cause premature leaking.  Add this to your list when changing the smoke detector batteries

Regularly maintaining your home can save you money and also sets the tone for how your tenant should be treating the home.  Show them that you care and respect your property so they will too.