Maintenance is essential to every landlord’s regular tasks, whether you’re dealing with back-to-back vacancies or solid tenants who renew their leases for years. Some maintenance tasks can only be completed when your tenants move out and you have an empty, blank slate to work with. However, you should carry out many more of these essential tasks periodically throughout the year. By staying on top of your top home maintenance tasks, you can save time when you need to spruce up a rental unit between tenants.
Be sure you’re staying on top of your winter and autumn seasonal maintenance, especially as our rainy climate can wreak havoc on a property without the proper precautions. And when your tenants move out, take care of the following tasks to make your property look like new.
Top Home Maintenance Tasks Between Tenants
Some maintenance benefits the health of the property regardless of whether tenants occupy it. But there are other tasks that you only need to worry about when you’re in between tenants. These can run the gamut from essential yet nonessential maintenance to repair damage previous tenants might have left behind.
If you’ve managed your rental well, you should have reserved enough money from your tenant’s security deposit to repair that damage. And with the difficulties many Portland landlords still face in scheduling with vendors and contractors, many small landlords opt to DIY their repairs and updates. Here are all the essential top maintenance tasks to take care of before you open your unit to new tenants.
Patch and Paint the Walls
One of the first things you’ll want to get your property looking its best is giving some TLC to your interior walls. Depending on the condition of the unit, this might be either a quick job or a massive undertaking. When you have the time and finances, it’s best to take extra time and care when sealing and repainting nail holes and other minor damage. Your new tenants will want to feel like they’re starting in a place that is wholly their own, rather than a unit covered in the barely-covered damage of previous tenants. When your unit makes a great first impression, you’re far more likely to catch the interest of tenants to whom you’ll want to keep renting for years to come.
Hopefully, your tenants would have informed you if they ran into any issues with a stove or washing machine. However, it’s still best to double-check that all appliances are clean and in good working order in preparation for your new tenants. If you’re considering giving your unit some upgrades, the time between tenants is a perfect opportunity. You can likely increase the amount of rent you charge to reflect the improvements you made to the property in the interim.
Clean Your Gutters
In the Pacific Northwest, keeping our roofs and gutters clear of leaves, moss, and other issues over the long wet winters can be a challenge. When your tenants move out, take the opportunity to inspect your property’s roof for any potential issues. It’s far better to address a repair that won’t become critical until later, far before it reaches that point. Cleaning and repairing gutters is a great way to ensure they keep doing their job well throughout our rainy season. This also helps avoid any issues with pooling water.
Replace Furnace and AC Filters
Problems with your HVAC system can cause a hefty bill. That’s why best practices are to change furnace and AC filters at least twice a year. This means you should ask your tenant to do it or schedule advance notice to do it yourself. Get your new tenants off to a good start by replacing those filters first, and buy yourself some extra time.
Check for Potential Safety Issues
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make sure your property remains safe for tenants. In certain circumstances, you could be liable for a tenant’s injuries if they’re hurt due to negligence in maintaining the property. As such, keeping an eye out for potential hazards on the property is one of your top home maintenance tasks. A loose railing on the stairs, an uneven floorboard that people could trip over, or a front porch that’s prone to be slippery all may warrant attention. And of course, be sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are working well.
Reevaluate your Property’s Finances
Are you making back your ROI? Do the costs of repairs and maintenance eat into your rental’s profits to the point where they’re threatening your bottom line? How does the rent you’re charging compare to the ever-changing averages for similar properties in your area? These are all crucial questions to ask before you open your unit to new tenants.
Get Help With Your Top Home Maintenance Tasks in Portland
From both a practical and financial standpoint, trying to avoid tenant turnover whenever possible is almost always the best business strategy. Vacancies can be expensive for landlords, who often have to pay for materials and repairs while losing out on the rental income they usually would be collecting from existing tenants. In fact, you can expect to pay about 1,700 per month for tenant vacancies. Combined with the additional time it takes to clean, maintain, and create listings for a property in the meantime, this makes tenant turnover a potentially stressful situation for small landlords.
Working with a property manager like Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew is a great way to take the hassle out of property management. Our hardworking team handles all the details of maintaining your property. We also take care of screening new tenants in accordance with Multnomah County’s ever-changing property laws. In addition, our marketing team will craft an eye-catching listing for your property to find quality tenants quickly and ensure you can list your property at its best value on the market.
Overall, working with Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew is the best way to get the most bang for your buck. It will also save you time and stress in Portland’s rental market. For more information, you can call or text us anytime at (503) 515-3170 or by filling out the contact page on our website.