While owning rental property is a great way to earn a steady stream of passive income, it doesn’t come without its own obligations. Essentially, you’ll be required to look after the general condition of the property. When one tenant moves out, you’ll have to inspect and update the property before you can rent it out to a new tenant. In addition to giving the unit a fresh coat of paint and making minor repairs, here are a few things you should do.
How you care for your property’s plumbing system will depend on the type of system you have in place. For example, a septic system for a single-family household will require residential septic tank cleaning every three to five years. If your property is larger with several rental units in one building, you may need your tank serviced more frequently. Even if you use the city’s water supply and waste removal system, you should take the time to inspect the plumbing pipes on your property. Finding and fixing leaks promptly can save you from the larger costs associated with a backup or burst pipe. A regular plumbing inspection can also help you prepare for the effects of the winter months.
When a tenant vacates one of your rental units, one of the first things you should do is to test the lights and electrical outlets. It may be better to hire an electrician to do proper testing, but you can identify a problem if you smell a burning odor, hear popping noises, or observe scorch marks around outlets and sockets. Your electrician can address these problems and help you update the structure’s wiring to prevent future problems. Even if you’re unsure that there is an electrical problem, an inspection performed by a skilled professional can help you avoid shorts, power failures, and electrical fires after a new tenant moves into the unit.
You should have your property’s HVAC system inspected twice per year as a part of performing preventive maintenance on your rental property. While it would be more convenient to have the system inspected while a unit is vacant, you should still stick to a regular inspection schedule even with your units fully occupied. Seasonal inspections ensure the system’s components are in good working condition for the extra stress that will be placed on them when temperatures reach their highest and lowest of the season. Inspections will include services such as topping off coolant levels and replacing air filters. As a result of seasonal service, your tenants will save on their utility costs and your HVAC until will last longer before it needs to be replaced.
You should also arrange to have vacant units sprayed for pest infestations before assigning a new tenant to the unit. Even if you have the exterior and common areas of the property sprayed on a regular basis, treating individual units is also recommended. After a tenant vacates a unit, tour the property to look for signs of infestation. For instance, a dead roach or ant in the kitchen indicates there may be a problem in that area. Similarly, look for shells, pest droppings, and other signs that bed bugs are infesting the bedrooms. Your pest treatment professional can offer additional treatment if you do see signs of infestations. They can also spot trouble areas that you might miss, helping them provide you with more thorough treatment services.
As a tenant vacates a unit, this is a good time to test the safety equipment in the unit to ensure it’s working properly. Test the smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector to ensure they’re both operational and don’t need new batteries. You should also have the fire extinguisher inspected by a local fire department. If the unit has security features, such as an alarm system, run a check on those devices as well. By checking these devices after each tenant moves out, you can ensure everything if in good condition for the next tenant.
Taking better care of your rental property will helps you protect your investment. It will also help you attract a higher quality of tenant by showing that you care about the condition of your property. As a result, you’ll keep tenants for longer, and that will help you maintain a steadier flow of passive income.