As a landlord, attracting great tenants starts with a well-maintained property. Here are some of the essential maintenance steps for you to consider each season of the year to keep your Dallas property in tip-top shape!
- Now, or at some point during the year, replace the batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors; not only will you avoid your tenants waking up to chirpy sounds of low battery, but you also ensure the safety of your tenants if a fire breaks out.
- If your property tends to get reasonably humid, consider investing in a dehumidifier and instructing tenants on how to empty it and restart it, keeping the building from experiencing condensation and related damage.
- When pollen dies down in your area, do a general cleaning: wash exterior surfaces, clean windows and window screens, and pressure-wash sidewalks and other concrete surfaces to create a great look. This action is an especially good step to do before any new leasing season, when potential tenants may be coming by at any time.
- Does your property have a deck, balcony, or patio? This season is the time of year when tenants will want to use it, so do a check to make sure there are no rotted boards or other dangers that could become a problem.
- Spring often gets plants going, but your landscaping will wilt in the Texas sun if you don’t have a plan for irrigation. Either work with your tenants to make sure that the plants get watered or make time to water them yourself, preventing unsightly brown shriveled plants. Remember to avoid watering in Dallas from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Make the transition from A/C to heat, and make sure that the system is in good condition and functional. Do this before a Dallas cold-snap so that you aren’t stuck with chilly tenants!
- Do a “winterizing” sweep of the building: are there any problem areas in the pipes, gutters, or other spots? When freezing temperatures arrive, you don’t want burst pipes or leaks in the gutters to create more expensive water damage. Though we enjoy heat most of the year, Dallas can still freeze over in the winter!
- When a significant amount of leaves have fallen in your neighborhood, you’ll want to clean out the gutters to ensure that rainfall can move away from the building and the foundation.
- As the weather gets colder, pests move indoors: check any areas that have had pest problems and add as many mousetraps, bug traps, and other preventative measures as you need. If you haven’t evaluated how pests are getting in, inspect to see if you can find and seal any accessible openings.
- Autumn can be very muddy season: add doormats at all entrances to the home, and clean them regularly.
- Either plan to salt and shovel the walks if snow arrives, or know who will be responsible for doing so: you don’t want tenants slipping and falling!
- Before the first freeze is an excellent time to check the roof and make sure it doesn’t have weak spots; this isn’t the time of year to replace a roof, but make sure that your roof isn’t going to have trouble with snow weight or excessive rain later in the season.
- Talk to tenants about keeping the heat on at least above 50 degrees even when they are out of town; travel for the holidays is no reason to end up with frozen pipes! If you know that some areas of the unit are isolated and close to exterior walls, suggest things like leaving sink cabinet doors open or leaving faucets slow-dripping to avoid frozen pipes.
- Share energy saving tips with your tenants: they will probably be upset if their bills are higher than expected, so talk to them about covering windows in plastic, setting the thermostat lower overnight to save money, and other energy-saving tips.
- Keep an eye on tree limbs during this season; heavy storms can break limbs that looked healthy all year long. After any given winter weather event, swing by each property and make the time to remove any limbs that look precarious, even if they would fall in the yard instead of onto the building.
- As the weather warms up, get routine maintenance on your property’s air conditioning to make sure the air filter is clean, and everything is ready for sweltering Dallas days.
- Evaluate the landscaping and make decisions about annuals and other plantings that could beautify and improve the lawn. Picking hardy plants that require less water will also save you time and money down the road!
- Arrange for lawn mowing services or make time to mow the lawn yourself.
- Do a general inspection for lingering winter-related damage: walls expand and contract, chimney mortar and bricks can loosen, and windows could have lost caulk or window stripping.
- Check the dryer vents and other filters in the building to make sure that they are cleaned and replaced as needed.
Use a Checklist to Simplify Work!
The maintenance of a rental property can be time-consuming, especially if you have more than one rental. If keeping up with tenant screening while juggling the other requirements of being a fantastic landlord sounds exhausting, use our FREE tenant screening checklist to streamline your workload!