Despite the especially frigid winter the east coast has been dealt, spring is around the corner. Many use this seasonal transition time to spruce up their homes and sweep away the stale air of winter. This should be no less true for those managing rental properties.
If you’re a landlord of a single-family dwelling, this is a very good time to tend to some preventative maintenance as well as evaluate winter’s wear on your property. Doing so now could save you money down the road. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
If you manage a single-family rental home, some exterior work will be necessary. Start by walking the grounds to take stock of what might need extra attention.
Pay attention to the foundation and brickwork of your house to see if any parging may be necessary after a long snowy winter. Doing this over the spring and summer could save you from a risk of water damage during the next winter and subsequent thaw.
Basic sprucing to the property is also in order. Window cleaning and power washing the garage and fence will make your property shine.
Before you’re too far into the season, have a plan for basic landscaping. A well-kept house and pretty front yard is appealing to prospective tenants, set a standard for care of the space for current tenants, and boosts both your and your neighbourhood’s property values. For low maintenance landscaping, consider reducing the size of your front lawn. Create plant beds populated by hardy perennials, or use decorative paving stone – or a combination of the two!- to create a lovely space that won’t require the same upkeep as a grass lawn that needs monthly mowing and lots and lots of water.
As you’re preparing your garden for spring, and assuming you’re reasonably sure you’re leaving sub-zero temperatures behind, now’s the time to turn on your garden’s exterior hose bibs or water taps.
Be sure to have the gutters and eavestroughs inspected now too. Cold weather sometimes causes these to crack. One telltale sign: icicles. If you or your tenant noticed lots of icicles forming around your eavestroughs, this might be an indication of damage.
If your property uses motion sensor lighting, bulbs and batteries should now be changed.
There’s work to do inside, too, albeit much less.
If your unit has battery-operated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, the general advice is to change the batteries at the same time as the clocks change each year.
This is the time to replace HVAC filters and thoroughly clean bathroom fans.
And, of course, as you’re in and around the property, it’s always good to connect with your tenants to ensure everything is running smoothly and to see if there’s anything on their wish list for repairs.
Image courtesy JD Hancock
Read more: Getting Your Rental Winter Ready