Owning rental properties comes with responsibility. One of the biggest responsibilities you will have is maintaining the properties you own. Once you have more than a few houses in your portfolio, it is highly recommended that you hand over the management and maintenance tasks to a professional team. In this article we will look at all the areas you need to maintain in and around your properties. With so many on the property maintenance checklist, it will become apparent early on that you cannot manage your property yourself.
To minimize stress, inspections to your properties should be regular. This means that issues are tackled sooner rather than later, saving you money in the long run. Ignoring faults can lead to dangerous situations, court hearing, fines, and other nasty things you need to avoid as a landlord. If you fail to maintain your property, your tenants will not treat it with respect. This means that your portfolio will lose value, and you will have problem finding tenants.
Property Maintenance Checklist : A Summary of Landlord Responsibilities
It must be remembered that when you rent out a property, you no longer have the right to come and go as you please. You must give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice if you wish to enter the property to carry out inspections. In the event of an emergency however, you can enter. Such situations would be when there was a flood or a fire at a property and you were not able to contact the tenant.
As a landlord you are responsible for the upkeep of the exterior of your property. This can include the roofing tiles, chimney, and guttering. You home must pass fire safety regulations, and this will include the furniture, as well as the fixtures and electrical equipment that you supply to your tenants. In the event that you rent the property unfurnished, you will still need to make sure your electrical circuits are up to date and that you gas safety inspection is carried out by a professional each year.
Property Maintenance Checklist : Toolkit
If you are still carrying out maintenance to properties yourself and not handing the work over to a management team, you will need an extensive toolkit. You will need all the basic elements of a toolkit such as a hammer, screwdrivers, a drill, nails, screws, and bolts. You will also need protective equipment for yourself, as well as a ladder, a saw, brushes, duct tape, and paint of various colours and varieties. The list really is endless, and will depend on how many different types of paint have been used throughout all your different properties. You might like to add glue, a scraper, some filler, and a can of WD-40 to your list too.
What to Look Out for When Inspecting Properties
When you rent out your property, you should add all white goods that you supplied to your property maintenance checklist. This will avoid confusion as to whether the fridge is yours or not, and if you need to be checking out the microwave. A lot of property maintenance is common sense. All walls and doors should be checked for mould, rot, and cracks. All hinges should open and close smoothly. Your locks should be checked on windows and doors for any signs of forced entry. Your tenants should not change locks on your property, so you should have a set of keys that will open all locks.
All plug sockets should be checked, as well as light switches and light fittings. If tenants have been overloading plug sockets, you may see signs of heat damage on the socket. Radiators need to be checked, and bled periodically. This is one thing you may forget if you are carrying out inspections in the summer. Your gas boiler should always be checked by a professional, and a safety certificate issued.
Pipework needs to be checked too. The main areas are in the bathroom and kitchen. Check for stains that are evidence of leaks, and ensure that all drains empty quickly and are not foul-smelling. Check the washing machine, dishwasher, and any white goods that were supplied. The bathroom needs to be checked thoroughly. Rotting floorboards and mould and mildew are often the result of carelessness on the part of your tenants.
Smoke alarms should always have batteries in them, and should be tested. Lastly, check outside to see the property has all the correct bins. There should be at least one for food waste, one for general waste, and one for recycling. Ensure that you tenants are using the bins correctly and taking them out on the right day. Lastly, remember that happy tenants are tenants who will look after your home for you, so make sure you are punctual with repairs, and give plenty of notice when you wish to visit a property.