In the fall, when everyone is distracted by upcoming holidays, there are some things you should think about doing at your rental property for the safety of your tenants and to prevent costly repairs during the upcoming winter months.
Here are some items you might want to get checked and worked on before you get a call from tenants when you’re on vacation with your family in Hawaii this winter:
Gutters and downspouts
As leaves start to fall, you want to make sure your gutters and downspouts don’t get clogged. Clogged gutters can lead to issues down the road that can be expensive to fix such as wood rot or pest infestations. If water doesn’t drain properly away from the foundation, driveways, and sidewalks, then there can be damage there as well.
Windows and doors
Make sure to repair any damaged window or door frames and replace weather stripping or caulk around windows, if necessary. Weatherstripping typically lasts 1-3 years, so if it hasn’t been done since before the pandemic, this year may be the time to do it. Caulking can last up to 5 years depending on the weather. Making sure these items are in top shape helps to reduce drafts and lower heating bills. If your furnace isn’t having to work as hard, it can also help prolong the life of your heating system.
Having a professional check your furnace in the fall helps to find any issues before they become an emergency when the tenants go to use their furnace during a cold snap. An HVAC technician looks for issues like dirty or loose electrical connections, refrigerant leaks, malfunctioning safety systems, or leaking seals around the air handler. The filter should be replaced on a regular basis, so if that hasn’t been done recently, then that should be done as well.
Depending on your area, if the temperature gets below freezing, then the pipes should be insulated, and tenants should be aware of the water shut-off valve location in case a pipe bursts.
Chimney and fireplace
If your rental has a fireplace and chimney, it should be inspected and cleaned annually by a professional to prevent fires. During an inspection by a professional, the chimney is checked for creosote buildup, flue blockages, leaks, cracks, damage, and other issues that could cause costly problems or increase your risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Occasionally, animals will want to nest in areas with warmth, and choose the chimney at your rental property.
These items are common, but every property is different so yours may have some additional items that you should check. By sending professional vendors out to make sure the rental property is properly maintained, you should save money in the long run while keeping your tenants happy and showing you care about their well-being and the upkeep of their home and your investment.
Give us a call if you’re interested in having a professional property management company take care of this and more at your rental.