If you’re a landlord in Orlando or Central Florida, you need to carry out frequent preventative maintenance on your rental units. Doing so will keep your investments habitable and appealing to high-quality renters. It will also help you save significant sums of money that you would have otherwise incurred in costly property repairs. Keeping the property well-maintained involves a lot of work and can be overwhelming. However, a well maintained property is crucial to attracting quality tenants.
Here are a few effective maintenance tips that you can use to ensure that your Central Florida and Orlando units remain in top shape at all times.
8 Tips for Effective Maintenance
Inspect the roof
Many Florida homeowners face roofing problems caused by storms, hurricanes, extreme summer heat, and humid climate. The damage could range from minor problems, like broken tiles or a missing shingle, to disastrous structural issues that demand entire roof replacements. It is important to inspect your roof at least once each year to ensure that they are in perfect shape.
During the inspection, be on the lookout for stains or mold on the ceiling or walls as these could be signs of a leaking roof. Take the time and fix any real abnormality such as fastening the loose shingles, replacing the broken roof tiles, unclogging the gutters, as well as, ensuring that there is no pooling of water on your roof.
Service the Air conditioning units
Since Central Florida weather can get scorching hot, it is in your best interest if your air conditioning units are working efficiently. It will help maintain comfortable conditions for your tenants and also contribute to keeping their energy bills in check. For this reason, always change your filters when they are dirty and worn out. That could be monthly, or as indicated on the AC equipment.
Furthermore, get a professional heating and cooling technician to inspect, clean and service your air conditioning units once each year. Even if you don’t suspect any issues, it’s always best to erron the side of caution. A perfect time to carry out such maintenance is in spring, which will guarantee that your units are well-prepped for the summer heat.
Fix the Plumbing
Water leakages from leaky faucets, broken pipes, or leaky toilets can be costly to you and your renters. For starters, water leaks can result in structural damage to your property and can destroy your tenant’s belongings. Secondly, they can lead to the formation and growth of mold. Lastly, they result in water wastages, high utility bills, and unnecessary landlord-tenant conflicts. Avoid all these headaches by conducting plumbing inspections annually or semi-annually.
You should always be on the lookout for any signs of water leaks. These include unusually high water bills, water stains under the kitchen sink, musty smell in the home, mold forming on the walls, or the formation of water puddles on the floor or crawl spaces.
Smoke and Fire Detectors
Wildfires are not unusual in Orlando. No wonder the law demands that every landlord installs smoke and carbon detectors in their homes. These devices will not only make you a law-abiding citizen but will keep your tenants, their property, and your investment safe. For this reason, take the time to inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are not malfunctioning, disconnected, or have dead batteries.
If you wish to be on the safe side, check the alarms on a monthly basis to confirm that they are in excellent working condition. Similarly, form the habit of changing the batteries at least every twelve months, or whenever the devices start to emit a beeping sound.
Trip the ground fault circuit interrupters
Due to the increased number of electrical shocks in homes, many property owners have installed safety fixtures. One such feature is the ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), Residual Current Device, or the Ground Fault Interrupter. These devices help to shut off the electric power circuit if it detects the current flowing in the wrong path. If you have these fixtures in your rental property, you should trip or test them on a monthly basis using a circuit tester to ensure that they are working efficiently. It is also important for you to train your tenants how to safely carry out this routine maintenance.
Most, if not all, landlords invest in a rental property with the intention of leasing the units to human beings. It’d be illogical for you to let pests, insects, and rodents overrun your investment. Such infestation is not only a health hazard but will drive away quality renters. Hence, you should include extermination activities as part of your monthly property maintenance routine. Just identify a dependable pest control specialist to help you get rid of fleas, mosquitoes, spiders, roaches, ants, bedbugs, hornets, bees or wasps. In addition to treating your property, the professional will point out the conditions that encourage the breeding of such pests and make suitable preventative recommendations. This will hinder any future infestations and keep your tenants happy and bite free!
Seal the air leaks
A significant concern for most Orlando homeowners is the high energy bills resulting from overworked heating and cooling units. While routine inspection and servicing of the HVAC system will boost their energy efficiency, such efforts will be meaningless as long as the room has air leaks. Such leaks will cause the unchecked movement of air into and out of the room, causing your AC units to overload. You should inspect all windows, doors, roofs, and air ducts once or twice a year to ascertain whether they allow the penetration of water or air into and out of the property. If you come across any leaks or gaps, use a weatherproofing sealant to rectify the problem.
Paint the units
Another important maintenance activity you need to conduct is painting your property. Color not only makes the property beautiful, but it also enhances its perceived market value. Moreover, painting the property provides a form of protection against weather elements and pest or rodent attacks which makes your property more durable. You should paint your units once each year or whenever you notice cracking or peeling of the paint. Similarly, you should always repaint the units before a new tenant moves into the premises.
Clearly, carrying out such routine property maintenance is costly and involving. Nonetheless the social, legal, financial, health, and psychological benefits of having a well-maintained rental property justify the cost and effort. Luckily, with a little planning and the help of a competent property manager, the entire process is affordable and manageable.