Nearly 37 percent of Americans rent their homes. That statistic hasn’t been this high since 1965. It’s a sign that there’s an overarching shift towards renting over buying.
However many homebuyers are getting a great deal comparing apartments for their use or for investment.
Prospective first home buyers also see the value of becoming landlords first before buying their own home.
Apartments offer value as they are newer and in great locations for attracting tenants. As a property investor when you rent out your property, location is top of mind. But, you can throw away that advantage by not taking extra care of the property.
Before you put your rental unit on the market, ensure it’s in excellent condition. Keep reading for the ultimate property maintenance checklist.
1. Service All Appliances
What appliances are in your rental unit? If you’re looking for the top renters, it should have all of them. And they should be in perfect condition.
Go through each appliance and ensure they each work well and look clean. That includes the oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, laundry machine, and dryer.
It would help to inspect the furnace, AC unit, water heater, and air filters. Bring in a professional to check these appliances and give you the go-ahead.
2. Check Safety Tools
Every rental unit should have essential safety tools, such as fire alarms and extinguishers. Inspect these items to ensure they work.
Some fire departments and private companies offer alarm-checking services. You should also get your carbon monoxide detector checked.
This step is vital for the health and safety of your tenants. Should an accident occur, your unit needs to be prepared.
3. Create Your Seasonal Checklists
There are some property maintenance tasks you can’t do in the current season. That’s why most property managers have seasonal lists to follow.
In the winter, focus on snow removal and keeping icy walkways at bay. In the summer, work on landscaping. The fall and spring are good times to do interior maintenance of the property.
Divide all the tasks into the season they need to get done in. Some may only be once a year, and others will be more often. The lists will serve as reminders each month of what you need to do for maintenance.
4. Clean Up the Landscaping
If you’re renting out a house or unit with green space, renters will want to use that space. As the property manager, it’s your job to ensure it’s also safe and well-maintained.
Do a walk-around of the property and assess how you can improve it. Is there fallen debris like dead leaves and branches on the ground? Are the lawns and gardens overgrown with weeds?
It might be more efficient to hire a professional landscaping company to give your yard a makeover. Then, you can maintain it or have them come back regularly.
5. Do a Deep Interior Clean
The inside of the property is even more important than the outside. It’s where your future tenants will live and make memories. Ensure it’s clean and comfortable.
That means doing a deep-clean of the entire unit.
Clean the walls, floors, baseboards, and moldings. Shampoo the carpets and polish the flooring. Look for signs of mold; if you notice it, call a professional mold removal service.
Make sure you pull all appliances away from the walls so you can clean under them. You want your new tenants to have a fresh start in your luxuriously clean unit.
6. Increase Your Curb Appeal
Even renters care about having strong curb appeal. You don’t have to renovate the front of your house to do so. Just focus on some minor improvements.
Give the exterior of your house or building a good washing. You can rent power washers from a hardware store. Clean out the gutters, and then power washes the walls.
Windows often get neglected when we think about curb appeal. You may want to hire professional cleaners to wash your windows and sliding doors. Consider repainting the shutters and adding flower boxes.
Your front porch or patio may also need power washing. After that dries, consider giving the front door a fresh coat of paint. Add some bushes and flowers along the walkway to make your curb appeal instantly better.
7. Refresh the Walls
A fresh coat of paint can dramatically improve the look and smell of a room. Paint everything before showing the property to prospective tenants.
Choose a neutral color that most tenants will like. Fill in any holes and cracks first.
It’ll cost you a pretty penny to hire a painting company to do the whole unit or house. You can save money by doing it yourself or only outsourcing some of the rooms.
8. Inspect for Pests
Pest control is a massive responsibility for landlords and property managers. An infestation in one unit can spread to other units in a matter of hours.
Inspecting for pests is a preventative maintenance step that can save you money in the long run. Even if your property has never had pest or rodent problems before, develop a prevention plan.
Hire a pest control service to spray once a month or every couple of months. Regularly inspect the walls, attic, and roof for furry residents.
9. Update the Locks
The final step on the property maintenance checklist is to update the locks on the doors. It can be frustrating to buy all new locks every time your tenants move out.
Instead, install an electric lock code above the handle. You can set the code and change it anytime new tenants move in.
What’s more, with an electric lock, you won’t need to hire a locksmith or get new physical keys cut every time your get new tenants. The initial investment may be more upfront, but it’ll save you money in the long run.
Ready to Use This Property Maintenance Checklist?
If you want to secure the best tenants for your rental, you must provide a well-kept property. Staying on top of your maintenance duties is key.
Before the unit is even on the market, get it ready with the property maintenance checklist above.
Managing a property is a lot of work, but it can also be gratifying financially. For more tips on renting your property and being a landlord, check out the Rent section of the Property Talk Blog.