Seasonal maintenance is an important part of a homeowner’s responsibilities. Whether you own one or more rental properties, keeping them in good condition will not only protect your investment, but also attract and retain good tenants.
Additionally, summer maintenance is especially vital given that summers in Australia can get notoriously hot. This, coupled with empty properties due to people moving due to the nearly month-long hiatus, can be a recipe for disaster that can cost real estate investors thousands of dollars in property damage.
To make sure you’ve covered all your bases, here’s our comprehensive checklist of summer maintenance tasks for your rental properties.
When people think of summer, their minds usually wander to trips to see family and friends or to relax a bit beyond their backyard, which means your rental property may be vacant during the holiday period and can be a target for thieves.
With the summer holidays upon us, it’s the season to prevent than cure. Thefts and damage to investment properties are statistically higher in December and January (often when tenants go on vacation), so it is important that preventative measures are taken.
If they agree, ask the tenants about their plans for the summer. This way, if they go away during the Christmas and New Year holidays, you or nearby security personnel can be on the lookout for burglaries when they need to get out of the premises.
This is also a good time to make sure all locks work well at all entry points, such as windows and doors. If there are security cameras, as there are often in apartments, check that they work.
Arrange repairs and maintenance
Because rental properties are likely to be empty in the summer, this provides a window of opportunity to organize repairs, maintenance and renovations.
If your tenants are leaving, let them know in advance and tell them to put their belongings away so that you can take care of any specific maintenance or repairs that need to be done to the property, including painting, tiling or resolution of any problem. in the bathroom or kitchen.
You or your property manager will need to get permission from the tenant to enter the property, so it’s a good idea to arrange this in advance. Also, be sure to talk to your trades before work and make an appointment as they too are often on vacation.
As mentioned, summers in Australia are notoriously hot, so it is recommended to do a routine fire hazard check before summer arrives. Make sure your property is prepared for high heat and all fire danger is eliminated.
For starters, a buildup of leaves, sticks, or other debris in the gutters can be a fire hazard, so be sure to remove them before the heat arrives.
Additionally, potential buildup on the structure itself can make it difficult for water to drain. This can snowball into bigger problems later, such as sagging gutters with mold buildup in the area. It can also cause water damage, which could potentially affect the home itself.
Homeowners should also test smoke alarms at their properties to ensure that they are not faulty and that they will not risk legal liability if the alarm does not work in an emergency. It may also be useful to install a fire extinguisher on the property as additional protection.
If your property has a garden, ensure that outside bushes and trees should be trimmed and dead plants removed.
The season also generally sees more people going out for barbecues and get-togethers. Make sure that all barbecues owned by the property or your tenants are properly ventilated and placed away from buildings.
Before the summer season is in full swing, it’s a good idea to take the time to do some yard work.
Weed a little, refresh the mulch and add new colorful flowers and foliage that add life to the garden.
If you’ve postponed it, it’s also a good time to clean the windows a bit and check if the terraces or balconies need repairs. With this the property will be ready for the summer.
The intense heat will also affect your plants, so monitor watering systems throughout the season. Maintaining them properly will help you save water and, in turn, will also save you money.
Remember that a well-maintained garden and outdoor spaces can also help attract potential tenants while increasing the value of a property.
Add good insulation
Although adding good insulation to your rental property will hurt your pockets, it could pay off in the long run.
Properly insulating your property can help you get better weekly rent from tenants, since they should be spending so much on their electric bills and are less likely to turn on their air conditioner.
Of course, how you do this will depend on the type of property you’ve invested in, but it’s a good idea to talk to your property manager first if you’re unsure of the right approach.
Maintain air conditioning units
With another long, hot summer looming, homeowners should prioritize servicing air conditioning units to keep them running at their best.
Although it sounds like an unnecessary chore, remember that the cost of maintaining the device can be considerably less than repairing or replacing the device in the event of a breakdown.
Seek professional help to service air conditioning units before the summer heat gets bad. They will be able to check the unit, clean the coils, adjust the dampers, and look for any other potential issues.
Keeping the air conditioning system in tip-top shape can keep a landlord from looking grumpy to their tenants. After all, no one wants to be caught without cooling off on a hot summer day.
Prepare the pool
With the weather quickly warming up and people having more free time to relax, renters occupying a property with a pool will make good use of it now more than at any other time of the year.
If you are responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of the pool as per the signed rental agreement, please ensure this is done before the Christmas holidays.
Ensure that all security obligations also comply with established guidelines, including proper fence with adequate signage.
If there is damage around the pool that you need to repair (i.e. broken or loose tiles), now is the time to do so if you haven’t already.
Check lease payments
There are several public holidays dotted throughout the Christmas and New Year period, which may cause rental payment processing to be delayed in some cases.
Seasoned landlords are well aware of late payments during the period, but those who depend on rental income for large bills (mortgages, utility bills, etc.) should be aware of this. If you’re in the latter group, make arrangements if it causes any of your payments to be delayed.
It’s also likely that your property manager’s office or agency will be closed over Christmas, or at least on public holidays, so it’s best to ask all your questions before then. Also be sure to ask for lines that will be available during the holidays in case of an emergency.
If you have sorted out these problems, you can also relax, relax and enjoy the break as well.
Anticipate and plan for next year
Given fluctuations in demand, such as student returns or departures or worker employment conditions, many rental contracts end either at the end of the year or at the beginning of the year.
If you are happy with your tenants and want them to continue occupying your property, now is a good time to talk to your property manager to see how you can get your tenants to renew their contract.
One of the main advantages of keeping good tenants is that you don’t have to find new ones. This means you don’t have to filter new candidates; you avoid vacancy costs and advertising costs. As an added benefit, current tenants know the property rules and payment terms, and you don’t have to worry about dealing with new people.
A property manager is a person or company hired to manage the day-to-day operations, maintenance and administration of a residential, commercial or industrial property on behalf of its owners.
Real estate is a type of real property that refers to any land and its permanent improvement or accompanying structures, whether natural or man-made.
A rental property refers to houses or apartments used as accommodation for tenants.