Maintenance on Older Rental Properties
When it comes to taking care of any rental property, being proactive about upkeep and maintenance is crucial. But, when your property is older, it is even more important. Sure, wear and tear will affect nearly any home – that’s not what we’re worried about here. Older homes are more sensitive to regular issues and routine problems which is why it is so important that you are timely and thorough with your routine maintenance.
✔ Watch out for dust! Dust is everywhere in a home. It doesn’t matter how well or often dusting occurs, it still finds its way behind the refrigerator, in HVAC systems, dryer vents, and so forth. The more this dust and lint piles up, the more problems you could be facing in the future. Take the time to do a deep dusting of all these appliances and such at least once per year.
✔ Replace rotting wood. Does your older rental property have wood siding? Wood flooring? A wood porch or deck? Wood, regardless of being treated, can eventually begin to rot. This will require your attention. Take the time to overlook the home thoroughly and replace any boards that appear to be warped, rotting, or split. Make sure to do regular termite inspections on your home.
✔ Look for leaks and water damage. This is best done after heavy rains. Look at the ceiling as well as water and heating pipes for sweating. If you can catch a leak early – or at least in its early stages – it can save you a ton of trouble.
✔ Monitor the foundation. Homes tend to shift and settle over time. And, eventually, foundations can begin to show visible signs of this. Unfortunately, these small cracks can create much bigger problems if not addressed.
✔ Check the grout and caulking. The grout around tile and the caulk around things like your bathroom shower fixtures serve an important purpose: to keep out moisture. If there are cracks or areas of missing grout and caulk, you need to replace it as soon as possible. Otherwise, moisture will find its way where it shouldn’t and, as a result, can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
Older homes have a lot of character. Be proactive. As long as you take the time to perform the required maintenance and routine upkeep that it requires, it will continue to serve you – and your tenants – well.
Marina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out atwww.alhpodland.com. You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube, Bigger Pockets and REI CLub and LinkedIn.