Houston Rental Property – Maintenance Checklist

Fall is a great time of year because the holidays are around the corner and you may be enjoying more time with family but if you own Houston Rental Property it’s also a great time to take a step back and focus on maintenance, especially if you haven’t set foot in your rental properties within 6 months because focusing on maintenance now will help you to avoid problems later.

Maintenance Checklist

  • Paint common areas every five to seven years. Or, DiNatale says, “When they start to look worn and paint starts to chip or wear off, or has an uneven sheen, it’s time.”

  • Re-carpet hallways and other shared spaces every five years. This is about the time carpet will start to unravel and become a tripping hazard.

  • Replace lobby flooring, whether wood, stone, tile, or vinyl every 15 to 30 years. If maintained properly, stone, tile, and wood, can last as long as 30 years. Vinyl’s lifetime is shorter, usually around 15 years. But if a wood floor is cleaned weekly, it can last, then be rescreened or polyurethaned every two to three years. Stone can be buffed every two to three years to remain looking good. And remember to put down mats when it’s snowy or rainy, and have a front awning to protect residents’ and their shoes and boots.

  • Change light fixtures (not just bulbs) every 10 years or so. Quality fixtures can last for years, but many older ones aren’t compatible with new LED bulbs. Most buildings don’t tend to change the fixtures, however, until it’s time to repaint.

  • Clean and replace/upholster furnishings when they show wear.Good quality furnishings will last, but they should be kept clean on a regular basis.

  • Repaint or clean the exterior annually. Yearly inspections are important and have to be done in some cities and states. It’s wise to plan to repaint certain parts of the building every two to three years, tuckpoint every five years or so, and clean limestone, which can get very dirty every 10 to 15 years, depending on pollution and climate (salt air can be tough on materials).

  • Clean windows four times a year. At a minimum, twice a year, once in the spring and in the fall.Inspect terraces and balconies annually. Railings and balcony floors should be inspected to ensure they can support a set weight.

  • Clean and inspect downspouts, gutters, and other water-related features twice a year. Once in the fall when leaves are falling and again in the spring after trees flower to avoid debris getting clogged and causing backups.

  • Service and repair furnaces, air conditioning systems, and plumbing annually. In the Spring, check the AC and change fluids or filters, and in the Fall inspect the furnace and change filters.

  • Inspect and service elevators and sprinkler systems every year.Elevators and sprinkler systems should be inspected annually, usually by the fire department, but it may depend on your city code.

  • Landscape seasonally. Curb appeal is everything: invest in your outdoor plants every season to keep your building looking it’s best.

  • Upgrade gym equipment, computers, and laundry machines every few years. This will help keep your building efficient and your residents safe.

  • Replace roofs every 20 to 30 years. Good roofs will last decades, but should be inspected regularly, especially after bad weather.

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Rental Property Maintenance – Why It Really Matters

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Maintenance is one of the biggest things that most owners don’t budget for over the course of one year and sadly many people find themselves scrambling for money when their tenant calls to tell them that the water heater has gone out.

One maintenance call after another: when does it end? When you’re a property manager, maintenance costs can eat up a significant portion of your budget. However, you don’t need to get to a crisis point. If you’re wondering how to reduce your maintenance and repair costs, being proactive rather than reactive can yield the savings you need.

Avoid Extra Fees: Get There Before the Crisis Hits

We’ve all been there: the water heater cracks or the furnace quits in the middle of a winter’s night. These emergency repairs can be expensive. While these types of situations happen, being proactive with your repair and maintenance schedule can help you get there before the crisis hits and avoid huge emergency call-out fees. If larger troubles do arise, keep your warranties handy. Net Integrity recommends spending the extra money on warranties when purchasing large appliances, such as refrigerators or water heaters. The cost of expensive repairs or replacements will far outweigh the small expense you’ll pay upfront.

Ongoing Care Can Reduce Rental Property Maintenance Costs

Regular property maintenance includes everything from annual checkups for ACs and furnaces, assessing decks, railings and steps for repairs, and inspecting roofs for loose shingles. All of these services and more are items that you probably outsource, and all of them are activities that each of your properties will need one or more times a year. Being consistent about your rental property maintenance not only keeps you from being surprised by larger fees, it also allows you to set up a consistent fee schedule with your vendors. Standardizing your costs for specific repair and maintenance activities helps you manage your budget.

Source – Property Ware

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