Maintenance is critical for a desirable Santa Rosa investment property. Paying special attention to day-to-day maintenance and repairs helps increase its rental value and retain it for a long time. Your consistent effort towards upkeep can also motivate the tenants to use the home responsibly and play their part in cleaning the unit. However, that’s where most landlords experience obstacles. A rental property undergoes maximum wear and tear, especially when in use, and owners find it challenging to stay ahead of the repair issues over time.
If you’ve been facing similar challenges, here are a few tips that can help in the maintenance of your Santa Rosa investment property over time.
Maintain The Roof of Your Santa Rosa Investment Property
Strong and durable roofs are essential to keep the unit habitable and secure from extreme climatic conditions and intruders. It is, therefore, important to maintain them well. You need to check if the roofs are installed correctly, insulated properly, and if there are any leaks or water damages.
Also, check for things like missing shingles, buckling, or missing flashings, exposed fasteners, broken gutters, granules, mosques, or algae. Keep the trees around the home trimmed, as the fallen branches can damage or even break the roofs. Ensuring that the roof gutters are clean and unclogged will also help in maintaining their strength and quality over time.
Re-Paint Your Santa Rosa House
Ordinarily, walls undergo a lot of wear and tear. While cleaning them is a temporary solution, painting can retain its quality and appeal for a long time. It can cleanse and fill the small dusty pores in the walls and also cover any unauthorized paint job. It also protects the walls from molds or mildew while sealing out the moisture. Moreover, quality paint can repel allergens from the walls, thus creating a healthy living environment. If the walls look ruptured due to cracked or peeled paint, bubbles, nail marks, or scratches, a fresh coat of paint can take care of it all.
Vacuum Clean the Carpet
The floors are the most durable component of a home but see rough and consistent use. If you have carpet flooring, it can be even more susceptible to stains and other wear and tear, especially if the tenants have kids and/or pets.
Vacuum cleaning the carpet can help keep it clean and extend its lifespan. Don’t forget to clean the floor beneath the carpets regularly. If you find that any of the tiles have loosened, it is good to get that fixed immediately else you may end up looking at significant costs of reflooring the entire room later.
Prevent Water and Moisture Damage
Leakages can lead to flooding and water damages, leaving permanent stains on the walls or floors. The consequent moisture also attracts insects, like mosquitos, making the surroundings unsafe for the tenants. To avoid this, check if the walls are damp. You can identify dampness by checking if there is a musty smell, if there are water droplets on the walls or floors, or if the paint or wallpaper is peeling due to moisture.
Additionally, examine the water heaters, pipes, boilers, leakages under the sink, the toilet, the showers, faucets, and all the water outlets in the rental. If you detect any leakages, seal them on priority or change the pipelines or faucets if needed. Ensuring that the home stays dry, clean, and fresh can help you keep it in good condition over time.
Check the Appliances and Fixtures in the Santa Rosa Property
Think about how much you have invested in placing appliances in your home to increase its value. If you neglect their maintenance, they will break sooner than expected and lead to high repair and replacement costs. As a part of routine maintenance and inspections, you should check the following:
- Home appliances like television, refrigerator, microwave, and washing machine.
- Security systems like security cameras, smoke detectors, and fire alarms.
- Fixtures such as lights, ceiling fans, curtain rods, and window coverings.
Inspecting these regularly will allow you to fix them immediately in case of problems. It will also help you identify if the renters have caused any damage and charge them accordingly.
Service the HVAC Unit
The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system helps maintain the temperature, heating, cooling, and ventilation in your Santa Rosa unit. You should get it serviced regularly, to keep the rental habitable in the long run. Ordinarily, HVAC systems have a long life of 10 – 20 years when used well.
Most HVAC units see a reduction in efficiency because their air filters get clogged due to dirt or dust. We recommend changing air filters at least once a year and getting the HVAC unit inspected to ensure that all the components, like the combustion chamber, evaporator coil, and thermostat, are intact and clean and that they work well.
Clean the Ceiling and Exhaust Fans
The dust and grime that gets settled on the ceiling or exhaust fans can disperse in the entire house when the fans are turned on. This is very risky, as the residents might breathe in the dust and experience allergies or other respiratory problems. Not cleaning and oiling them can also decrease their efficiency and reduce their lifespan.
We suggest you get them cleaned at least once a month. But, remember, if you use strong substances like bleach to clean them, ask the tenants to use the fans only after they dry completely to avoid the danger of inhaling any toxic vapors.
Schedule Pest Control Services on a Regular Basis
Any insects, bed bugs, rodents, mosquitos, bees, spiders, wasps, or raccoons, in or around the property can make it uninhabitable. Besides, it doesn’t take time for insects like spiders or ants to grow in number, especially on the lawn or yards, thus deteriorating the quality of your property.
We recommend scheduling a pest control activity every 6 months and more frequently if the property is vacant. Pest-proof the walls, the porch, the windows, the floors, and other areas, by sealing the cracks and the openings with mortar, silicone, urethane expandable foam, or acrylic latex caulk.
Maintain the Outdoor Spaces of Your Santa Rosa Property
If you own a single-family home with an outdoor living space, like a deck, or a patio, or a pool, it is essential to ensure regular maintenance of that space as well. A well-kept and beautiful deck plays a significant role in improving your curb appeal. If there are any nails or broken boards, fix them immediately as they can hurt the residents. Painting the deck once in a while can also help in retaining its quality for a long time.
Similarly, clean the dirt and dust accumulating on the patio every 2-3 months. Scrub the pavers, use a patio cleaner to tackle tough stains, and remove and replace any broken pavers. If your property has a pool, draining and refilling the pool, checking and changing the water filters, and skimming off the leaves and debris are some of the typical maintenance tasks that you will need to undertake.
Mow the Lawn and Trim the Hedges
An unkempt lawn can disturb the look of the entire property. It can also become a breeding ground for insects and rodents. So, it is essential to trim the overgrown bushes and branches once a week and keep the lawn mowed at all times. Also, consider adding plants that are easy to maintain over time, as it can be time-consuming and expensive to change your gardening patterns after every few months.
Clearly State the Maintenance Responsibilities of Tenants in Your Lease
As a landlord, you might not be able to keep an eye on the property at all times. Mentioning the maintenance-related responsibilities in the lease is a great way of ensuring that the property is kept well by the tenants. You can ensure that the property is used responsibly by assigning a few responsibilities to the tenants, such as:
- Cleaning the carpets and curtains once in two weeks
- Vacuum-cleaning the sofas and mattresses once a month
- Cleaning the countertops and taking out the trash every day
- Maintaining the lawn
- Submitting the maintenance requests on time
Mention the responsibilities precisely in the lease and also state the consequences of not fulfilling these. This will develop a sense of accountability amongst tenants, encouraging them to maintain the property at its best.
Hire A Santa Rosa Property Manager
Property managers are skilled and experienced at maintaining rental units. They know the risks of neglecting any maintenance aspect and can ensure that there is no degradation of your Santa Rosa property due to neglect. They can look after your rental with a team of professionals, including licensed contractors, who can ensure qualitative repairs so that the issues don’t arise frequently. Besides, they ensure that the tenants fulfill their maintenance responsibilities and take good care of property throughout their stay.
Hiring an experienced property management company, like Redwood Residential Property Management, can help you maintain your Santa Rosa investment property and retain its value in the long run. We have been in the Santa Rosa real estate business for decades and have successfully helped homeowners keep their properties well-maintained and rent-ready.
Please get in touch at Redwood Residential Property Management if you have any questions.