Without the cold of winter or the wet of spring and fall, the summer months might seem like the time when property maintenance tasks are at a minimum; however, in some cases, summertime brings with it more chores for property managers and tenants themselves.
In larger complexes, landlords will need to ensure that all outdoor community features are ready for use. Make sure pools, picnic areas, BBQ pits and any outdoor meeting places are safe and cleaned up for your tenants' enjoyment. For smaller or single-family properties that don't have shared areas, there are many important things that can still be accomplished during the summer. This includes inspecting roofing and weather stripping.
No matter the size of your property, it's good to keep a few tasks in mind as summer begins:
- Irrigation system set-up: The summer season brings rising temperatures, and with it, an opportune time to service your irrigation system to save on water usage, prevent landscape damage and reduce standing water. Don't forget to program sprinklers to the optimal summer settings for your area in order to keep your property looking truly fresh. If you don't have an automated system, make sure to go over expectations for watering with your tenants.
- Prepare for fire season: With the worst fire season on record last year for the Western United States, preparing for fire risks associated with high heat is no laughing matter. Remove fire hazards in the form of debris or dead plants and trim bordering vegetation. Furthermore, ensure that any grills are properly ventilated and positioned away from buildings. Don't forget to check local laws regarding fire extinguisher requirements for landlords.
- Service cooling systems: To prolong the life of your property's heating and cooling system, be sure to have a professional service your AC unit at least once a year. A professional must check the unit, clean coils, adjust dampers and look for any other potential problems. Remove trees, debris or trash that can hamper the unit's effectiveness.
- Create a maintenance checklist: Depending on the features of your rental property, this list can change. Each season calls for different routine maintenance in order to properly protect your investment. Alongside traditional safety checks and routine maintenance, be sure that you add these summer chores to your team's to-do list: service the pool; clean grills/check propane; organize outdoor areas; and make sure any outdoor fixtures like chairs, tables or umbrellas are undamaged.
Summer is also a good time to open up lines of communication with your residents. As people spend more time outdoors in the evenings, it's a good idea to remind renters about a complex's quiet hours, and regulations about pool use, grills and community amenities. Within your reminder, include information about any policies for guests and parking regulations.
Take advantage of the sunshine and host summer community events, like a BBQ or pool party, to pave the way for asking for renewals. By offering renewal incentives and reminding your tenants about how much fun it is to live in your property, it's more likely that they will stay.
While summer months and home maintenance may not be closely associated in your mind, this is the perfect time of year to ensure that everything is in good shape, safe and ready for any weather.
Brentnie Daggett is a writer and infographic master for the rental and property management industry. She loves to share tips and tricks to assist landlords and renters alike. To learn more about Daggett, and to discover more great tips for renters, visit www.rentecdirect.com.