Summer is winding down, the kids are back to school, and the crisp fresh air is about to return. The fall is a perfect time for property owners and tenants to conduct house maintenance on rental properties before the cold temperatures arrive and you hunker down for a long winter’s nap. No one wants to be doing house maintenance, especially outdoors, during a cold winter storm. Preparing for fall and winter now will save property owners and residents time and money in the future. Rancho Cordova property management experts at RPM SAC-METRO conduct semiannual property inspections to make sure that all properties are ready to handle the cooler weather and precipitation. If a house is not kept in good condition before a winter storm makes its grand entrance, property investors can expect to get hit with major maintenance costs and inconveniences to themselves and their tenants. It is important to remember that landlords are not solely responsible for the care and maintenance of rental properties. Tenants sign a lease agreement stating that they will also care for and maintain a good, clean property. Let us review the responsibilities of both parties.
It is the responsibility of landlords and management companies to clearly explain the lease agreement to the prospective tenants at the time of signing. Doing so protects property owners and Rancho Cordova property management companies from mix-ups and misunderstandings with lease compliance. Lease agreements should clearly outline the responsibilities of tenants such as the following:
- Safety Hazards: Tenants should check for anything that may cause accidents or harm to themselves or their guests. This includes loose handrails or flooring that is lifted or buckling. Loose handrails that are located in common areas of large apartment complexes are checked annually by the local fire department. If any railing is loose or jiggling, the department will submit a ticket to the landlord or management company for repair. Handrails at single family homes are not inspected by the fire department and should be inspected by the resident. Check for electrical hazards. Touch each outlet and make sure that it is not hot to the touch. Insert and remove plugs from each outlet and check that no sparks are visible when inserting or removing the plug. Rancho Cordova property management teams require that fire extinguishers are inspected each year to see that they are fully charged. Each fire extinguisher should be charged once a year. Check the tag on the extinguisher to see when it was last charged. If you do not have fire extinguishers located throughout the house, look at this article from Life Safety Service to learn where to store fire extinguishers. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and see that the batteries are working and that the detectors are installed to the proper areas. Check water and gas shut off valves.
- Filters and Vents: Clean and replace the filters on HVAC units, the furnace, and the range hood above the stove. The filters on these appliances help them to operate at full capacity and ensure the health and prolong the life of the appliances and units. Take the time to pull out appliances and vacuum behind them. Rancho Cordova property management experts agree that residents will be surprised at how much dust, dirt, and crumbs accumulate underneath and behind appliances. Cleaning underneath and behind appliances will help eliminate fire hazards.
- Doors and Windows: Open, close, lock, and unlock all doors and windows. See that they shut and seal tightly to prevent cold drafts from the winter’s air. A tight seal will also keep water at bay, preventing water damage on the interior of the home. Windows and doors that lock properly are crucial to the safety of tenants. Property owners are liable if a lock does not operate correctly and if it causes harm to the tenants. Lubricate door hinges if they are squeaky or difficult to open and close. Check and replace weather stripping as needed. Caulk around the window edges so that they are completely sealed. Check the silicone seals around the edges of the bathtub as well. Rancho Cordova property management professionals recommend that tenants remove any silicone that is moldy or damaged and replace it with fresh silicone.
- Deep Cleaning: Carpets and rugs take a beating from year to year as some residents wear shoes indoors. Take the time to deep clean the carpets either with a rented machine or a truck mounted cleaning system. You will be surprised at the amount of dirt that carpet cleaning machines can suck out of the tiny fibers of carpet. Scrub the hardwood or tile flooring and wipe down baseboards. Clean drain traps and drains in the dishwasher. Check faucets for dripping. Grind ice cubes in the garbage disposal to clean the blades and grind up a couple of lemon slices in the disposal for a fresh clean scent.
- Tidy Up Outdoors: Rancho Cordova property management teams require that tenants care for the landscaping of the rented property. Walk around the front and backyard of the property and clean up any debris from trees or shrubs. Prune the trees and shrubs so that they are not touching the exterior of the property. Cut any tree branches that are hanging over the property, as they can cause damage to the roof if they break. Remove all hoses from the spigots and store them inside. This will prevent pipes from freezing during the winter.
If residents find any maintenance that needs to be completed, please report it to your Rancho Cordova property management team for service.
Property managers and landlords are responsible for making any repairs that are received through a maintenance request ticket. It is important that landlords and management companies also take the time to inspect properties.
- Roof: Look at the roof carefully and inspect each area to see that the shingles are correctly fastened. Look for any shingles that are lifting or missing.
- Attic: Climb into the attic space of the property and turn off the lights during the day. If you can see daylight through the roof in the attic, make the necessary repairs.
- Walls of the House: Inspect the interior and exterior walls of the house. Rancho Cordova property managers should look for any signs of water damage. On the exterior walls, this includes water stains or discoloration to the paint. On the interior walls, this includes bubbling paint, warping paint, rotted baseboards, or stains.
- Flooring: Check that all flooring is flat and is not lifting or buckling. Damaged flooring can cause a tripping hazard which is a liability to property owners. Looking for signs of water damage which include bubbling of the flooring, especially in the bathroom near and around the shower or tub enclosure, toilet, or bathroom vanity.
- Appliances: Test all appliances by turning them on and off to see that they operate properly and to its full capacity. If any appliance does not operate, replace it.
The Rancho Cordova property management team at SAC-METRO wants our residents to enjoy a safe, clean and well maintained home. If you have additional maintenance requests, please contact the friendly professionals at SAC-METRO. We are happy and ready to serve you.