As a landlord, you wear many hats when it comes to running your building. However, keeping your property safe and clean is one of your most significant responsibilities you have to your tenants.
If you find that the stress of your demanding job is feeling overwhelming, turn to this concrete list. These are a few top essential maintenance tips every landlord should keep in mind.
Keep the Paint Fresh
Fresh paint can make a dramatic difference both inside and outside of the building. Always opt for timeless colors over dated wallpaper. Light and neutral colors are optimal, as they allow natural lighting to enter and bounce off the walls — making the area seem larger than it is. Colors like cream, eggshell, lavender, or sage are perfect for creating this effect. Additionally, try to keep up with the paint job every five to ten years for the best results as weather conditions can chip the paint away.
Take Tenant Satisfaction and Safety Seriously
Keeping up with every single tenant can pose a challenge. However, taking their happiness into account is what separates a decent landlord from a great one. Happy tenants are also more likely to renew their lease at the end of the year. If your tenant has expressed that they feel unsafe or are otherwise satisfied — particularly if they’re an excellent tenant who pays on time and doesn’t generally make a fuss — it’s within your best interests to prioritize their needs.
Keep Your Toolkit Ready For Simple Fixes
Torque wrenches, which were first invented in 1918, are tools used to precisely apply a specific torque to a fastener such as a nut or bolt. These are items you want on hand at all times. Be sure to have a full tool chest or have repair personnel you can trust to fix issues quickly! You want your residents to see you as a reliable landlord who can help them whenever issues arise. You can keep this toolkit in your office. Make sure it also contains:
- a tape measure
- a level
- a screwdriver
Armed with the proper tools, you’ll be able to fix small problems more quickly. If you don’t feel like you’re capable of DIYing, make sure you have someone on-staff you can rely on.
Maintain an Open Line of Communication
Issues in your building can get worse if they aren’t addressed right away. For example, a few roaches can turn into an army if you don’t take action as soon as possible. To avoid simple maintenance issues spiraling into something worse, make sure you’re easy to contact. Fostering open communication will allow you to be aware of every issue. Your tenants will also appreciate it. Post your office hours outside of your door or strike up conversations with individuals around the building. Make sure everyone knows your role and your face. You can also leave a box by your door made for request forms.
Check for Leaks Often
Fix cracks in the ceiling to put a stop to mold growth as well as ceiling damage. Cracks, after all, can let in moisture from the outdoors — the one thing mold and fungi need to thrive. You’ll want to look for leaks and fix them well before they allow mold to grow. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying a hefty price. Not only can mold growth and water damage ruin the structural integrity of the building, but they can also present a health risk to your tenants.
Keep Your Landscaping Neat
Building maintenance encompasses more than the indoor issues. You’ll need to also consider the outdoor landscaping when maintaining your property. Keep the grass mowed and the trees trimmed. Additionally, plant some flowers if the weather permits for a pop of color. Make sure there are no landscaping elements that could present a safety hazard to tenants or visitors. Prioritizing ongoing landscaping tasks will also make things easier if your tenant decides not to renew their lease at the end of the year.
Change the Air Filters
You’ll need to replace the filters on your heating and air conditioning systems at least twice a year. Not only does this help keep the air clean and purified, but it also extends your HVAC system’s life. If you want to avoid paying higher heating bills for the building and preserve the health of your tenants, this is an easy way to do it without too many special tools.
Call Pest Control
Pests are a sure sign that the home or apartment building is neglected. To avoid this, and keep your tenants safe from insects and rodents, call pest control as soon as you receive a complaint. As they say, where there’s one roach, there are most likely thousands of other hidden to the naked eye. While tenant behavior can result in pest activity, it’s important for you to take action if your tenants make a complaint. Otherwise, the problem can spread throughout the building.
Pay Attention to the Small Details
While you should fix eye-sores and obvious issues immediately, like holes in the walls and hanging wires, don’t neglect the small details. For example, you should regrout the shower tiles and recaulk the showers to make the bathrooms shine like new. If you notice that the upkeep of a unit is lacking and there are improvements that can be made to retain its value, you might want to put that on the schedule. Even replacing old windows or worn-out appliances can convince a tenant to stay while increasing the property’s value.
Use High-Quality Materials
Don’t skimp out on the building materials when conducting repairs and renovations, especially when using fasteners. More than 200 billion fasteners are used each year in the U.S. But if you have missing or exposed nails on the property or structural elements are in disrepair, you’re risking a lot. Therefore, you should always use high-quality building materials to ensure everyone’s safety.
Not only is taking this precaution related to the safety of your residents, but it protects you as well. Although 96% of personal injury cases are settled pre-trial, landlords still face legal consequences when they fail to maintain a safe environment for tenants.
Check All Carbon Monoxide and Fire Alarms Regularly
This can save a life, so check both of these alarms often to make sure they are working properly. Do these checks at least twice a year and ensure you’re acting in accordance with all local codes.
Any landlord knows how much hard work and dedication goes into keeping their building in excellent condition. However, if you feel you need a quick refresher on keeping your building pristine (and your tenants happy), use these tips as a quick checklist to ensure you’re ticking off all the boxes.