Spring Investment Property Checklist For Landlords
With spring just around the corner, now is the time for landlords to work with their property manager to address any maintenance issues that may have popped up over winter and to do some preventative maintenance and planning in preparation for summer.
Obviously as a priority, any issues that impact the habitability of the property should be fixed as a matter of urgency, but there are other important jobs to do over the next few months to protect your asset.
The good news is staying on top of your maintenance issues has a number of benefits:
- As you or your property manager are visiting the property, it enables you to keep an eye on your investment and ensure it is being looked after by your tenants
- Being proactive with maintenance instils a level of trust with your tenants which can translate into them taking better care of your property
- Allows you or your property manager to connect with the tenants and to check they are happy and whether they are planning on staying. Having insights into their plans can help you with yours
Here is a look at some of the springtime jobs that should be planned and actioned over the next month or two.
Clean gutters and remove leaves
With spring, comes rain, so making sure your gutters are free of leaves and debris so any rainwater can flow off the roof, into the gutters and into the drain or water tank is important. A blockage along the way can cause costly water damage on the inside of the property.
Plus, if your property is in a fire risk area, it is highly recommended the gutters are cleared out regularly over the spring / summer months to ensure there is no fuel for a fire.
Check the roof for damage
In many cases you can see from the ground if there has been any damage caused to the roof or if branches of trees are lying there following a winter storm.
If you can’t see the roof clearly from the ground, ask your gutter contractor to inspect the roof while they are up there for any broken tiles. Get these fixed before spring to ensure there aren’t any leak during spring downpours.
Change smoke detector batteries
Landlords and property managers are required by law to install and maintain smoke alarms. The consequences of not doing this could be disastrous. Smoke alarms need to be checked annually by a professional smoke alarm company to ensure they are in working order and the batteries need to be replaced. Spring is a good time to do this.
Locks and security
As a landlord you are obliged to ensure your property’s locks and other security devices necessary to keep the premises ‘reasonably’ secure are in working order. So, while inspecting the property make sure you or your property manager check window and door locks, bars and screens and the alarm system if there is one.
Clean out the air conditioning / heater filters
Non-essential appliances such as the air conditioner and heating system, should undergo regular and proper maintenance. Having an annual inspection, service, filter change and clean is worthwhile for both tenant safety and energy efficiency.
Garden and outdoor maintenance
If your property has an outside living area, as the weather starts to warm up, your tenants undoubtedly will want to use it. Here are some general landscape maintenance jobs to consider:
- Aeration and reseed any lawn
- Refresh the mulch and plant some flowering annuals to add some colour and enhance the property’s curb appeal
- Prune flowering trees and fruit trees to encourage budding and ensure they can’t conduct moisture into the property
- If your property has a pool, check the fence and gate to ensure they are secure, clean the filter, check the pH levels and add chorine to keep bacteria at bay
- Power wash the paths and exterior to remove any grime and / or mould that may have built up over winter
- Clean foundation vents as they are often a catch all for leaves and twigs and can limit the air flow through the foundations of the property
- Check the condition of an entertaining deck and the BBQ and fix if required
Plan for next year
In a lot of cases tenancies finish toward the end of the year or the beginning of the next. As you or your property manager will be on site, it is a good opportunity to talk to your tenants to try and find out what their intentions are. Of course, if you’re keen to keep a good tenant it’s worth asking if they want to re-sign their lease and perhaps come armed with some incentives for them to stay on.
Retaining good tenants who look after your property and pay their rent on time is valuable to any landlord. Talk to your property manager about what they suggest you could do to encourage good tenants to re-sign the lease. They have valuable insights into how best to position and retain good tenants, after all they work with them every day.
Check for subleases
Traditionally many younger renters are students and over summer often head back to family or off on holidays. In some instances, they may look to sublease the property. If this isn’t part of your tenancy agreement, they will need to get written permission from you as the landlord. Whilst you are not allowed to withhold this permission without good reason, it is important you and your property manager stay across who is living in your property.
A final note
As a landlord you’re generally responsible for organising and / or paying for repairs and maintenance and to ensure the premises is in a reasonable state of repair during the tenancy. With spring nearly upon us, there are a number of significant jobs that need to be done to protect your asset, and we hope that this list has helped highlight some of those tasks. Of course, our team of property managers, along with their team of contractors would love to help you complete these jobs, quickly and cost effectively and to ensure your property is ready for spring. To talk to our team of property managers about your property and what specific maintenance and planning should be carried out during spring time click here.
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