Being a property owner is a rewarding experience and at the same time, one riddled with responsibilities.
Taking care of a property, regardless of whether you are using it yourself or renting it out, or whether it is a commercial or residential property, is the sole responsibility of the property owner.
While many property owners only act when there is an issue reported with one of their properties, proactive landowners understand their responsibilities and employ preventive measures to keep their property maintenance costs to a bare minimum.
Conducting inspections, keeping the property clean, and keeping up with a change in building regulations are just some of the things that can help you, as a property owner, identify issues in early stages and prevent them from evolving into complex and expensive problems.
Here are a few preventative steps landlords can take to upkeep the health of their properties:
Conduct Annual Inspections
No, we’re not talking about visiting your tenants unannounced to ensure they are not up to something you don’t approve of. We’re talking about an annual inspection to make sure the various parts of your property are not deteriorating.
For this, you may need to seek the help of a couple of different professionals. Here are a few examples:
- Roof Inspection: The roof of any property is often overlooked until the time it starts causing problems like leaking or visibly sagging. By this time, the problems have grown so serious that repairing the roof is usually either very expensive or impossible. Hence, it is important to hire professional residential and commercial roofing companies from time to time, to keep the roof of your property in check. If they identify any problems, they usually can be solved with small repair jobs.
- Interior Inspection: An interior inspection is aimed at identifying structural integrity issues, bug infestations, or any other damages that tenants may have caused to the property. Once again, such issues, if not identified in an early stage, can evolve into expensive or even irreparable damages. Professional property inspectors can inspect most properties within the span of a day and most have very sensibly priced services.
- Inspection Of Smoke Alarms And Carbon Monoxide Detectors: This one is a no brainer. Unless inspected regularly, problems with smoke alarms and detectors usually become apparent at the worst possible times. Thankfully, you don’t need a professional’s help to test your smoke detectors and can do it yourself.
- Ensure Door And Window Locks Are Functioning: Ensuring the proper functioning of door and window locks is the legal responsibility of the landlord in many states. Even where that is not the case, it is advisable to check these from time to time to ensure the safety of the occupants.
Upkeep Of The HVAC Systems Of The Property
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems of any property will require regular maintenance. For each concerned device, like heater (or boiler), air conditioning, and systems like plumbing systems, you must contact the relevant professional to conduct a routine inspection.
If you have purchased any new devices, chances are, their annual maintenance may be covered by the manufacturer.
Regular maintenance of the HVAC systems of your property will maximize their lifespan, reducing your cost of replacing them every few years.
While annual maintenance may feel like a lot of added cost in the beginning, it pays to remember that repairing or replacing unmaintained parts or devices in your property will be much more expensive.
In other words, spending money on annual maintenance of your property will actually help you save money in the long run.