With summer slowly winding down it’ll soon be time for your tenant to move out of their summer home, meaning it’ll be time to prepare your rental for the next seasons tenants.
Since you’ll probably rent out your property again in winter (it is a seasonal rental, after all!), chances are, it’ll stay empty for at least a couple of months. Because your home will be used in two very different seasons, it’s important to make sure you prepare it properly after your summer tenants leave. What should you do?
- Clean the gutters! With all the flowering plants and leaves from spring, plus the rain from summer, your gutters are probably more than ready for a cleaning. This way, once the fall leaves start falling and the winter snows begin, your gutters won’t be clogged up.
- Check that there are no leaks caused by summer storms. Sometimes the more harsh summer showers may cause leaks that go unnoticed for months. Inspect your roof and see if there are any problems that need fixing, also be sure to check ceilings for stains that may indicate a leak. Fixing leaks now can help you avoid even bigger problems when it starts snowing.
- Landscaping. If you have seasonal plants that you’ve noticed may have not made it through summer, switch them out for other plants and landscaping decor that’ll fit with the next season.
- Change the A/C filter! With the heat, your tenant was probably keen on using the A/C often. Change the filter, and give it a tune up so that you know the unit will be working well. This will also help to ensure that the heater function will be working for your winter tenants.
As a property manager, you have a lot of different things to deal with on a daily basis. Because of this, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of your tenants and their homes, and they may not be being taken care of as they should be. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your tenant is receiving the proper treatment and that any issues they have are taken care of. What can you do to ensure this?
Well, one of the basic things you need to do is make sure that all of their maintenance and repairs are taken care. If your tenant comes to you with something that’s your responsibility to fix, don’t wait around for the problem to get bad and then handle it; take care of things as soon as they are brought to your attention. It may seem hard to keep track of so many things that you need to take care of, but we’ve got you covered. With Tenant File, we offer an optional Work Order Form feature (check it out here) that lets you keep track of work orders that your tenants have requested.
You can also send out a newsletter to your tenants! This may seem like a lot, but it’s not difficult to do and can save you tons of time in the long run. If you plan on being out of town, mention this in the newsletter so your tenants know to come to you before you leave. If a cold front is coming and there is a risk of pipes freezing, tell your tenants what precautions they should be taking. These kinds of things make all the difference and make your tenant feel that they’re truly being taken care of.
We recently talked about the importance of maintaining your property even when it’s vacant (check it out here); but before you start planning that maintenance, it’s important to make sure you’re not neglecting maintenance that needs to be done while your tenant is in the property.
Neglecting maintenance and repairs can not only end up being very costly, but it can also pose a big safety risk. If you notice some wiring that looks slightly frayed, change it! Waiting for the problem to worsen is never a good idea; in a case like this a fire could start and be extremely dangerous. Neglecting any sort of repair automatically creates a problem that’s just waiting to worsen. If you start to notice the flooring on one side of your attic going bad, you shouldn’t wait for it to collapse to change it.
It’s also important to constantly be checking up on things like alarm systems and fire/carbon monoxide detectors, and making sure the property has a working fire extinguisher at easy access to the tenants. By checking up on small ‘repairs’ like these, you’re potentially saving the lives of the your tenants.
Neglecting maintenance isn’t entirely always the fault of the landlord; as a tenant you should inform your landlord whenever you think something needs to be repaired. If your landlord doesn’t know about a problem, they’re not going to be able to fix it.
So, your tenant just moved out and you still haven’t found a new one and your property is vacant…sounds like the perfect time to stop maintaining your property, right? Wrong!
In fact, you should take advantage of your property being empty and do maintenance that can’t be done when it is being rented out. Use this time to paint walls, steam carpets and wax tiles, and perform more prolonged repairs, like fixing a staircase. These are things that you can’t do on any given day because people and furniture will get in the way. You should also continue checking that your smoke detectors and alarm system (if you have one) are in working order since they won’t be put to use as much as they normally would be.
Maintaining your property when it’s vacant is essential in finding a new tenant; if your property looks nice, people will be more inclined to rent it from you than if it looks unkempt. Consistencyis key in maintaining your property, you should always keep up the regular maintenance even if no one is living in it. Little things, like mowing the lawn and raking leaves, really impact the appearance of your house and can affect how they feel about. Consistent maintenance also shows potential tenants that you’re a good landlord. Consider someone is interested in your property and views it on multiple separate occasions and notices that the garden always looks nice and the bathrooms are always clean; they’ll feel that you’re a good landlord and will take care of problems that may arise.
…to fix up your property!
This is the time of the year that we always associate with blooming flowers, green grass, and spring cleaning, making it the perfect time to beautify your property for the coming summer months.
If you’re a homeowner thinking of renting your home for summer, you can take this time to make sure that your home is ready for the upcoming months. If you have a pool, make sure the maintenance is up to date so it looks crystal clear when potential tenants see it. People love flowers! Do a bit of research about what flowers and plants work best in your region and add some foliage to make your home brighter and more inviting to those who are thinking of renting it out.
If you’re a property manager with multiple properties or units, take advantage of the fact that we haven’t entered the rainy season yet and do maintenance on bigger things for your properties. It’s not safe to be toying with electrical power and wiring when there’s a storm going, so use this time to do electrical inspections of your properties and fix what needs to be fixed. Painting the outside of your property definitely can’t be done when it’s rainy out; make it a point to use springtime to your best interest and do any exterior work that you need to do now, before it gets too rainy and hot to enjoy being outside.
Spring is one the best seasons to spend time outside, don’t let it pass you by!
It is no secret that homeowners are very keen on taking care of their homes; there is a constant desire to make sure one’s home is always in a perfect state. For a homeowner living in their own home, there is no question about who needs to be maintaining the homes condition, the responsibility falls on themselves. But where does someone who lives in a rental home stand? Is it solely the job of the landlord to maintain the home, or is the tenant also responsible?
In any lease agreement there are certain conditions set that both the landlord and tenant must abide by. Typically, these are things pertaining to payments, general rules, and maintenance, etc. Maintenance standards are set in order to determine what falls under the landlords responsibility and what doesn’t. Though these agreements are set so that the tenant does not have to deal with the problems that a homeowner would have to deal with (since they’re just renting), they should not brush off the notion that a tenant should also make it a point to take care of their rental home. This does not necessarily mean that a tenant should be responsible for paying for a handyman, or trimming the tress; this means that the tenant should make it a point to keep things in good shape and ensure that any problems that they have are brought to the attention of the landlord. If a landlord pressure cleans a tenant’s driveway, the tenant should make it a point to keep it clean and looking nice. Simple things like that are what keep the property looking good and both the tenant and landlord happy. Being timely with maintenance requests is also very important! It is entirely up to the tenant to make sure the landlord is quickly notified if something needs to be repaired, as this ensures that things are being taken care of effectively before they get worse.
Aside from living in a well kept home, there are other benefits of tenants helping in their property being taken care of. The cooperation of the tenant definitely fosters the growth of the relationship with the landlord making the rental process significantly easier. Also, if a landlord sees that a tenant is very good about keeping the house clean, or even notifying them of repairs, they will be more inclined to write a good recommendation letter for this tenant.