Making your rental property a profitable investment involves maintaining it every season. In this guide, we're outlining what investors can do each season to ensure their rental units and the surrounding landscaping is clean, safe, and up-to-date. If you want to save money on seasonal maintenance, you can do so by partnering with a professional Seattle rental management company instead of trying to manage these items on your own!
Note: This article is not legal advice. However, it can get you started on the right track for property maintenance! When it doubt, consult with the experts at Real Property Associates for which crucial elements of property care you need to cover as an investor.
Spring is not only a great time for planting flowers and bringing out the patio furniture, but it's the best time to start maintaining your property. Here's a checklist for spring maintenance:
- Boost curb appeal: Complete all landscaping tasks, including raking out garden beds, seeding the lawn, pruning shrubs and trees, and planting flowers.
- Clean foundation vents: Winter storms can cause debris to collect in foundation drains. Clear out all organic materials, including leaves and twigs.
- Clean gutters: Before and after every wet season, you must clean your gutters. That includes removing debris and checking for gunk build-up.
- Look for moisture build-up: If the winter thaw creates puddles or mold growth, now is the time to address these issues before damage occurs.
- Interior inspections: Look for any leakage from the roof, check for pests, and check the condition of the flooring.
Interior inspections beyond spring are a must to ensure your property is performing like it should and being treated well by your residents. The best Seattle rental management providers include property inspections as part of their services, so it's worth investigating if your property manager can handle routine inspections!
Summer Property Maintenance
After a rainy season, like spring, for example, you're going to have tasks that you must complete. That way, you're ensuring things are clean and well-maintained. This checklist outlines what property owners should address in the summer:
- Check appliances: The last thing any renter wants to deal with is a refrigerator that doesn't work on the hottest day of the season. Inspect all appliances twice annually to ensure they're in tip-top shape.
- Exterior power washing: The siding, porches, and walkways need power washing to remove mold, mildew, and other muck spring kicks up.
- Inspect the property: Look for loose brick or pavers in walkways, cracks in concrete, or broken asphalt in the driveway. Address these issues to prevent concerns about lapsed safety.
- Landscaping: There are some trees and shrubs that you must wait until summer to prune. Clear out any dead limbs from spring storms. Weed out flower beds and clean patio furniture as needed if preparing your property for your next renter.
- Repair window screens: Your residents are going to want to keep their windows open during the summer. However, they don't want bugs entering their residencies—repair all window and door screens.
Investors in Seattle are responsible for pest control for their rental properties, so staying on top of those window screens is a big deal! It's also a good idea during your inspections to ensure that your renters care for the smoke detectors and properly dispose of their trash to discourage unwanted guests.
If performing these kinds of routine inspections is a timing issue for you, it's worth considering a Seattle rental management partner to manage your necessary upkeep.
Fall Property Preparation
With temperatures dropping toward the end of the season (and perhaps, snow falling), it's time to get things in order. That means putting away patio furniture and getting out the snow gear should you own a multi-family rental property with shared amenities! However, you should also:
- Clear gutters out: If any debris collects in gutters between the spring cleaning and now, clean it out. That way, if water collects and freezes, the debris doesn't cause ice dams.
- Inspect chimneys and HVAC systems: Avoid emergency repairs for the property's furnace by having annual HVAC inspections. Make sure your building's chimney is cleaned and inspected, as well.
- Inspect the roof: Make sure there aren't any loose shingles or pieces of flashing that could cause issues during a winter storm. Look for any debris that shouldn't be up there that could also cause damage.
- Prepare for pests: As temperatures start dropping, pests and other critters are going to look for warm places to hide. Look around the exterior of the property to see where pests could invade.
- Winterize outdoor plumbing: Disconnect all outdoor hoses and put them into storage for the winter. Turn off water spigots and drain any water collections—wrap outdoor pipes and spigots with insulation that lasts until spring.
Winter Property Checkups
Preparing for cold and icy weather should be your top priority. If you don't have time to address maintenance during the winter, working with a Seattle rental management company is your best option. Here are tasks you must address during winter:
- Inspect smoke detectors: Cold weather means residents are using the furnace or space heaters. They could also light candles and use electric blankets. Each of these things increases the risk of fire. It is your renter's responsibility to ensure they keep smoke detectors operational once you have installed them. in a single-family rental.
- Flush the water heater: Flushing the water heater every two years helps it run efficiently, and it prevents mineral build-up.
- Look for water on walkways: If you see areas of your walkways where puddles could form and freeze, address those areas immediately. Make sure there's plenty of salt available for residents if you operate a multi-family property with communal walkways.
- Winterize pipes: Help prevent pipes from freezing by wrapping them in insulation. That way, they don't burst when temperatures reach freezing.
Easy Maintenance Through Management
Seattle seasons may require rental property owners to be on the ball when it comes to property care, but our FREE seasonal maintenance checklist can make it easier! Working with resources that the professionals use is a great way for property owners to save time and money, and you can get started by downloading your copy!