Spring Upkeep: Landlord’s Guide to Maintaining Your Rental

Periodic upkeep and preventative maintenance are the best ways to help minimize extensive repairs and maintain or improve the property value of your rental home. For occupied rentals, it keeps tenants happy, and, for unoccupied properties, having a well-maintained home is an easy way to attract potential renters. Spring is a great time to check off some to-dos around your properties, as the weather is optimal, and tenants are more likely to be out of the house, enjoying the day. Before you tackle any indoor or outdoor maintenance project, be sure to get in touch with your renters first to coordinate a time and date that works for them.

Home Maintenance

Keeping your rental home in tip-top shape can do a lot of good—now and in the long run. While you want to show that you care about your investment, regular maintenance can help keep costly repairs at bay and unwelcomed critters at a distance. Make sure to check these areas and tackle accordingly:

  • Gutters. Clean gutters of debris and fix any cracked, leaking, or broken pieces.
  • Siding. Check to see if any siding is cracked or has broken away from the home. Fix any issues.
  • Windows. Address any broken or missing surrounding seals on the exterior and interior of each window. Use a power washer on the exterior of windows to remove excess dirt or grim.
  • Screens. Fix screens that have ripped, broken, or no longer fit windows.
  • Decks, porches, and patios. To protect the wood, re-seal or paint, if needed, and fix any cracked or broken pieces.
  • Foundation. Check for any cracks or separation from the surrounding landscape.
  • Front and back doors. Repaint, if needed, and consider installing storm doors to protect from further weather damage.
  • Roof. Check the yard for any shingles that might have fallen off and call a roofer to investigate any damage further.
  • HVAC. Ideally, tackle the HVAC before the weather turns hot. Clean away dirt and debris from the HVAC air handler and run the system to check for any problems. Replace air filters.

Landscaping

A well-maintained yard is a bigtime value-add. It’s a potential tenant’s first impression of your house, so it’s essential to ensure that it’s properly attended to throughout the year. If the property is occupied, advise your tenants of any chemicals you’re using before proceeding, as they may be harmful to pets and children. Here are the to-dos for landscaping:

  • Apply pre-emergent weed/lawn treatment
  • Aerate lawn
  • Fertilize lawn
  • Prune/trim shrubs and bushes
  • Mulch garden beds
  • Check/run the sprinkler system and fix any broken heads

Other Considerations

While your house and lawn require the most attention, you can’t lose sight of other issues that might be lurking inside and outside your property. After you’ve completed home and landscaping repairs, take a look at these last few areas for proper upkeep:

  • Walkways and driveway. Seal cracks and fix any sunken sections.
  • Fences. Fix broken, leaning, or missing slats, runners, or posts.
  • Outdoor lighting. Replace broken bulbs with appropriate wattage.
  • Dryer vent. Clean the dryer vent cover and any debris in the line.

Get to know the ins and outs of your rentals, and do a thorough check to make sure everything is working correctly. In addition, consider teaming up with a rental management company, like RHOME, that employs seasoned professionals to handle regular and one-off maintenance requests and much more. You’ll not only be glad to have a trusted partner, but your tenants will also appreciate the attention and quick response time.

Regional Maintenance Tips

Depending on where you live, seasons act differently. While spring is usually warm for states nationwide, winter can be another story. Check out our article, “Regional Winter Maintenance Tips from Experts Around the Country,” for ideas on how to winterize your home.

About the Author

Kirk Gillespie

Kirk Gillespie is the vice president of rental operations at Associa. In this role, he focuses on standardizing companywide rental operations, driving future growth, and establishing a culture of teamwork and helpfulness. He has more than 12 years of real estate investment and property management industry experience and has held several leadership positions, including vice president, branch manager, and managing broker.

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