A property manager’s must protect the assets for their clients. The best way to maintain the value of rental properties is through annual inspections and preventative maintenance. As professional property management does not cost-it pays, preventative maintenance saves money over time. Just as we change the oil in our car we must service rental facilities before serious problems occur and equipment must be replaced. I have compiled a maintenance punch list. These items are separated by frequency and will help mitigate equipment failure.
Preventative Maintenance punch list:
The daily items should be done by tenants and made a requirement in their lease:
- To use bathroom fans during every shower.
- Inspect beneath cabinets, vanities, sinks. Tenant should immediately report to Landlord any water intrusions, such as running faucets, roof leaks, plumbing leaks, drips, sweating pipes, or discoloration of walls and/or ceilings.
- Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, or cleaning.
The quarterly items should be done by tenants and made a requirement in their lease:
- Change heating/air conditioning filter.
- Check all faucets. Look for dripping or possible leaks.
- Clean dryer vents.
- Test smoke and CO detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed 1 per floor. We recommend smoke detectors in every sleeping area, kitchen, laundry, and common areas. New law requirements, if battery-operates, contain a tamper-resistant battery with a minimum 10-year life.
- Drain hot water heater. This will help to remove particle build up.
- Seal tile and granite.
- Trim back trees. It is a common problem that rodents enter the home from a tree that touches the roof and leaves can speed up the deterioration of the roof and branches can cause leaks.
- Check caulking. Look around bath tubs, windows and sinks for gaps or cracking. In Sacramento city and country Rental Housing Inspection Program (RHIP) is citing caulking as a code violation.
- For vacant property, it is critical to winterize and turn off plumbing before freezing temperatures.
- Check window and door seals for any openings. This can save money in lost energy use.
- Walk the exterior of the property for any possible trip hazards. Cracked driveways can be a code violation as well as contributing to accidents.
- Service A/C system prior to summer months and heaters prior to winter months.
- Sprinklers should be checked every spring to ensure proper coverage and to prevent overspray onto wood sided homes.
- Clean gutters (April and October). Please note that whenever a ladder is needed we suggest using a professional maintenance technician.
- Pressure clean roof tiles, driveways, and decks.
- Examine siding and trim.
- Inspect roof for missing, loose, or damages shingles.
Common violations can be avoided with preventative maintenance. Here are the top 5 code violations found during The Sacramento Rental Housing Inspection Program (RHIP) inspections:
- Interior garage door does not have self-closing hinges
- Water heater improperly strapped or improperly vented TPR line
- Garage door or lighting does not have permanent wiring
- Dishwasher drains directly into side of garbage disposal instead of having an air gap
- Deterioration to exterior wood must be corrected immediately as water intrusion always is soon to follow.
It is best to have an annual inspection done by a licensed contractor to ensure all preventative maintenance is being done and any new code violations are being upheld. Small fixes now are better than large replacements in the future. Tenant retention is important for cash flow and residents appreciate a fully functioning home. For more information on preventive maintenance and inspections email [email protected]