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Residential Real Estate
Feb 22, 2023

The Importance of Preventative Maintenance in Rental Properties

Sponsored Content provided by Dave Sweyer - Owner and Broker, Sweyer Property Management


If you're a rental property owner, you know that preventative maintenance is key to keeping your tenants happy and your investment in good shape. But what exactly falls under the umbrella of preventive maintenance, and why is it so important? Keep reading to learn the answer to these questions and more!

What is Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance may sound like a fancy way of saying "housekeeping," but it is much more important than that. Preventative care includes checking for potential problems, ensuring systems function correctly, and even performing system upgrades. It is essentially taking a proactive approach to maintaining the property you rent out. As a rental property owner, keeping up with preventative maintenance will help you save money and headaches in the long run. Imagine all the big repairs you can avoid and the subsequent peace of mind it would bring! When it comes to being a successful landlord, preventative maintenance is key: get ahead of problems before they start.
 
HVACs, Air Filters, and Dryer Vents

An HVAC system is like a car: you must maintain it regularly to run smoothly. And just like cars, when preventative maintenance on an HVAC system is neglected, small problems can suddenly become expensive repairs. During a preventative maintenance visit, an HVAC technician will inspect the equipment, test for any issues, and make sure all the elements are clean and free from debris. They'll also check refrigerant levels and ensure the unit is putting out enough air. And, of course, you can’t forget that pesky air filter. It's important to change it regularly, too - if not, you risk poor air quality due to dust buildup in your vents. On top of that, if the air filter gets clogged with dirt and debris, your HVAC system will slowly ramp up its energy consumption while driving up your electricity bill at a breakneck speed. So, make sure your air filters get replaced regularly - or else you're asking for trouble!

Another element of the home that should be checked regularly is the dryer vent. If the dryer vent gets clogged with dust and lint, it will result in a less-efficient appliance and can lead to house fires – a disaster anyone would rather avoid. HVAC companies often offer duct cleaning services, so be sure to inquire when setting up preventative maintenance visits.

Power Washing

How is power washing considered preventative maintenance? Well, having a rental home professionally power washed once or twice a year can make all the difference. Gone are the days of fading paint and dangerous mildew – they can be easily replaced with a crisp, clean look that will make any tenant feel more at home. And it’s not just about aesthetics; removing slippery mildew from sidewalks is important for ensuring everyone’s safety. So if you have a rental property, make sure you give the exterior some attention with a nice power washing session.

Landscaping

Keeping up with the landscaping of your rental investment property should be seen as a no-brainer: not only does it create a more pleasant atmosphere for renters, but it also sets off a string of positive domino effects that benefit the landlord even more. Of course, it goes without saying that nicely-manicured lawns, trimmed bushes and trees, and freshly mulched flower beds will attract more tenants – but they also help preserve property value. Another thing to keep in mind is the irrigation system. If your home has one, you should have it inspected at least once yearly (the beginning of spring is a good time) to ensure it’s ready for warmer weather. 

Landscaping can be more than just an aesthetic issue. For example, if tree limbs are left untrimmed, they could easily fall on the home’s roof, creating a mess you’d rather not be responsible for remediating. Further, clogged gutters can lead to water pooling around the house and possibly getting inside. These are just a few examples of how closely preventative maintenance and safety can be related.

Property Inspections

Regular property inspections are like a doctor's visit to your rental home. The periodic check-ups help ensure you're never stuck in a compromising situation due to deferred maintenance. By inspecting the premises, landlords can address any small maintenance issues before they turn into bigger snafus. It also permits landlords to ensure their tenants keep the place upright, which could create additional maintenance headaches. Overall, inspections are an invaluable practice for those who own rental property – they help landlords make sure everything is shipshape and allow them to spot any problem areas early.

Consequences of Ignoring Preventative Maintenance

For tenants and landlords alike, the consequences of ignoring preventative maintenance can be disastrous. Before you know it, an HVAC repair can turn into a full-on replacement job, while a clogged dryer vent could spark off a house fire - one that could've been avoided by taking care of some simple maintenance. And for landlords in particular, the price tag for repairs only goes up the longer you ignore them - which is why it always pays to stay on top of them. So don't get caught sleeping on the job - or your checkbook might wake up with a nasty surprise.

Work with a Professional Property Management Company

This maintenance may sound like a lot and can be – that’s where professional property managers come in. A professional property management company can largely care for owners’ property maintenance. Experienced property managers have close relationships with reputable local vendors with proven records of excellent work whom they can send to your home. Further, they can help you get on a regular preventative maintenance schedule with HVAC companies, landscapers, and more. 

Don’t have time to inspect your rental properties? Don’t worry; professionals can take care of that too. Property managers know what to look for during inspections and can advise landlords on what items need attention. 

So, while preventative maintenance is hugely important, you don’t have to go it alone: give your professional property manager a call! 
As a leading property management firm in the Cape Fear region, Sweyer Property Management recommends that property owners strongly consider working with a trusted and experienced property management company. Whether it pertains to the eviction process or another area of handling your investment properties, we want to make sure property owners and investors understand the relationship they are entering into when choosing to work with a property management firm. 

If you have investment properties and do not use a professional management company, we hope you consider doing so. The experts at Sweyer Property Management will be happy to provide you with a free rental analysis or, if you prefer, give us a call at 910-239-1338. 
 
Sweyer Property Management is a full-service professional property management company specializing in all aspects of rental management. If you're an investor or property owner looking to learn more about our services and what a professional property manager can do for you, reach out to us today at 910.256.3031 or via our website. Sweyer Property Management has exhibited continuous growth throughout the Wilmington, Leland, and Hampstead areas while maintaining an excellent Google+ rating for customer service. 

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