Author Topic: Maintenance items for rental properties  (Read 7723 times)

salmp01

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Maintenance items for rental properties
« on: August 13, 2012, 10:25:07 AM »
In the past few years I have purchased several rental properties (up to 19 now).  Most of these properties are townhomes so Iím typically not responsible for most of the outside items.   I have started to compile a checklist of items that Iíd like review when I inspect these properties once or twice a year.  So far I have the following items:

Change furnace filter (In encourage my tenants to do this but it doesnít always get done)
Inspect water heater and ensure bottom isnít rusting out (am also considering draining a few gallons to get sediment out).
Check caulk in bathroom
Check under sinks for any moisture
Check garage door/opener for smooth operation

Can anyone help me to add to this list? 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 08:32:34 PM by salmp01 »

kudy

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 12:21:59 PM »
State of the carpet, especially if they have pets - is it wearing really quickly?
Is all plumbing working as expected - faucets/spigots all turn on fine & drain, don't leak
Status of the yard/sprinkler system
Look for trip/accident hazards around the exterior (shifting concrete, etc.)
Take a look at the roof, check for missing shingles, clogged gutters, other problems

I imagine a lot of tenants would report when they have problems with various things, but some don't - so maybe make it clear to every tenant that you'd like to keep things nice and fixed up for them, and ask at your inspections if anything is wrong - as a tenant I've had grout fall apart in a shower, a window stop latching, drawers in the kitchen get wonky, towel bars fall off the wall, etc. Little things like that you won't want to check manually every place, but you could ask them to think really quickly if anything like that needs to be fixed up.

arebelspy

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 11:00:17 AM »
This is from a list I have saved as part of a Maintenance Timetable Spreadsheet in Excel.  Some of it may duplicate the above ideas, but I'm just cutting and pasting in the whole thing.

1. Irrigation system on year round, turn off for a while after heavy rain - one week- Adjust sprinkler heads every 6 months
2. Replace furnace/AC filter every 6 months and pour one gallon of hot/warm water mixed with two cups of white vinegar through the condensate drain.
3. Cut grass every week or two in summer and once a month in winter or as needed.
4. Power wash home once a year.
5. Clean and/or polish front door if fiberglass. Old English annually
6. Steam clean tile every 6 to 12 months or more as needed and re-seal tile grout every two years.
7. Service garage door guides and springs - spray with silicon every three months-tighten all nuts & bolts.
8. Fertilize your lawn with the correct seasonal type In the spring summer and fall. Spray weed control twice a year
9. Treat for cinch bugs every spring or as needed
10. Spray your shrubs twice a year with the correct seasonal bug and fungus mix. Trim and prune as required.
11. Clean dryer vent annually
12. Replace all batteries in smoke and carbon dioxide detectors once a year.
13. Refurbish mulch once a year or as needed
14. Drain hot water tank annually, about 3 to 4 gallons. 
15. Test and reset all ground fault (GFCI) outlets quarterly.
16. Check and reset lawn donuts spring and fall.
17. Change batteries in irrigation timer every 6 months.
18. Weed all beds and Preen every 3 months
19. Replace refrigerator water filter (Every 6 months)
20. Wash and polish wood cabinets every year with a light coat of furniture polish. Donít use a paste wax and donít use a polish that contains silicone.
21. Remove and clean faucet screens every 6 months
22. Spray outside perimiter of home, all entry pipes and inside sink base's  with Ortho Perimeter Max or Talstar Pro every 2 months.
23. Brush cobwebs from eves, doors  and windows every two months
24. Check postlamp bulb quarterly
25. Wash windows inside and out spring and fall
26. Paint pool deck every two years
27. Check screens annually and repair as needed
28. Change batteries in garage door remotes and key pads annually
29. Fertilize shrubs every six months
30. Inspect home annually for damage, roof vents, attic for leaks, paint condition, windows, etc.
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Another Reader

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 11:52:17 AM »
Ummmm....is this a list for your house or for your rentals?  Your tenants are either going to appreciate or hate you, depending on how often you drop by to do maintenance.  I do many of these things at move-out.  Things that are a fire or safety hazard (dryer vents) or significantly reduce the life of a major component (A/C filters) are scheduled.

Tenants are really bad at reporting problems unless it interferes with an immediate need, such as a clogged drain or broken A/C.  Everything else largely gets shrugged off.

Nords

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 04:34:40 PM »
Around here we check the exterior foundations every six months for termites, and I keep plant roots at least a foot away from the foundation.  Raphis shoots, if left undisturbed, will grow straight up behind the siding and peel it off the wall. 

There's also the annual May gutter cleaning to get ready for the opening of hurricane season.

Most of the time the tenant doesn't even notice the problem.  Sometimes, even if they agree it needs fixing, we'll agree to deal with it after they move out.  When our current tenants move out we're going to swoop into both bathrooms to resurface the cabinet doors. 

16. Check and reset lawn donuts spring and fall.
I give up.  I know donut cutters, and I cut a few lawn doughnuts in high school while off-roading with a four-wheel drive... but what kind of lawn donut needs to be reset?

When you check/replace the water filters & screens, are they dirty?  If it happens that often you might cut out a lot of downstream maintenance by installing a whole-house water conditioner.  I never replace our fridge's water filter and I only need to clean a faucet screen if I've been working on its nearby plumbing.

arebelspy

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2012, 05:52:30 PM »
I guess reset should read "check if still in place, adjust/replace as necessary."

Thanks for the tip on the whole house conditioner.  Typically haven't had them dirty or needed replacement too often, but I'll track it and compare the costs.

Agree with both Nords and AR - tenants aren't too concerned with maintenance typically, so being proactive helps.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

salmp01

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2012, 07:26:16 PM »
Arebelspy  - Thanks for the detailed list! 

jpo

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2012, 02:00:18 PM »

totoro

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 11:57:25 PM »
In addition to regular maintenance, I do an annual landscape plan for each property and schedule upgrades.  This year I am replacing some trees and low bushes with perennial grasses and lavender.  I will plant the grasses now for next spring but they will look good over winter too.

I also have a decorating plan for the front of each property as each one is multifamily and there are common areas.  This means we put up fall (wreaths, pumpkin displays, pinecones), winter (xmas lights and decorations), spring (planters) and summer decor (planters) at each property.  The tenants and neighbours like it and I enjoy doing it.  Does not cost very much as we reuse the seasonal decorations and planters.   We also give our tenants gifts like a bottle of wine or baked goods quite regularly and ask them to let us know what needs attention.

I a lot of oppportunity and motivation to clean and maintain because I rent by the week in the summer months and things have to be at a high standard for a vacation rental.  The winter is long term rentals.  One tool I have found really helpful with cleaning is the good old toothbrush.  If you are preparing a place to rent the toothbrush works great on taps, cabinet corners and other hard to reach places.  Tip:  don't put it back in the toothbrush holder.

One thing I was trying to figure out from arebelspy's list was changing the fridge water filter... then I realized that we don't have a water dispenser so I'm guessing we are ok on that.  I also don't check the GFI's - guess I should.  We also don't have in-ground irrigation but we do have to winterize the outdoor taps.


Kriegsspiel

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 06:46:54 AM »
Great thread everyone, thanks.

richschmidt

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2012, 08:30:25 PM »
I guess reset should read "check if still in place, adjust/replace as necessary."

That still doesn't explain what they are. Google isn't much help... though it does find something called a sprinkler donut. So maybe it has to do with in-ground sprinklers?

arebelspy

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2012, 08:57:31 PM »
Yes, they are for protecting the sprinkler heads from lawn mowers and the like.

I think that one falls under the "if it doesn't make sense, it probably doesn't apply to me" rule.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

richschmidt

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Re: Maintenance items for rental properties
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2012, 04:40:05 AM »
Yes, they are for protecting the sprinkler heads from lawn mowers and the like.

I think that one falls under the "if it doesn't make sense, it probably doesn't apply to me" rule.

What can I say? I'm curious and like to learn new things. :)