If you have a rental property you probably already know what a big responsibility it is. In addition to having to be responsive to the needs and concerns of renters, you’re also responsible for making sure that the house itself remains in good condition. After all, it’s your rental property, and you want to make sure that your investment pays off over the long run. Because you have so much at stake, there are things you’ll want to make sure are in good working order. Here are some things to stay on top of.
Evidence of Pests
One of the quickest ways to upset renters and possibly lose them is if there’s an issue with pests in the house. Things like mice, roaches, and bed bugs are a tenant’s worst nightmare, and they can quickly become yours too if pests aren’t dealt with swiftly. You should set a regular schedule for pest control to prevent issues or to deal with ongoing issues.
If there were no signs or reports of pests before a tenant moved into the house it could be that the tenant’s living situation contributed to the problem. This is why it’s important to perform routine inspections of your house to see what condition things are in. Typically, the landlord is responsible for taking care of pests. If the tenant caused the problem, they may be responsible for taking care of it. Check your local laws.
Floors and Walls
Fewer things are more noticeable in a home than damaged floors and walls. This is why you should inspect them to make sure they’re in good condition. It’s not uncommon for a tenant to want to hang pictures on the walls, but most landlords won’t allow this if the walls could be damaged. You’ll want to check for things like punctures or gouges. These are the same things you look for before investing in property.
Make sure you inspect the floors and carpets. If the floor is hardwood or laminate, what’s the condition of the wood or material? Are there marks and scuffs beyond what’s typical wear and tear? If there are any carpets, you’ll want to check for stains and any problem spots. You’ll also want to check both the walls and floors for any signs of water damage.
The smoke detectors should be checked to make sure they’re in good working order. Even though you might believe this is something the tenant would report if there were any issues, you have to remember that it’s not the tenant’s house; they just live in it. They may not be concerned about or even aware of the need to check smoke detectors.
The house should also be outfitted with carbon monoxide detectors if there are fuel-burning appliances, a fireplace, or a garage that is attached to the home. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because the gas, although deadly, is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. There’s really no way of knowing of its presence until it’s too late.
You’ll also want to check for stipulations of the lease that are being broken and could damage your property. For example, if the lease has a no-smoking clause you’ll want to make sure that the tenant isn’t smoking. It’s hard to hide the smell of cigarette smoke, especially if done consistently day in and day out. Smoking can lead to stained walls, burns, and nagging odors.
Also, it’s important to keep up with simple maintenance such as mowing the lawn, replacing the furnace filter, and staying on top of any snow removal that’s needed. Keeping up with these types of maintenance issues can keep you from a lot of headaches down the road.
Renting out a home to strangers can be a sound move financially, but it also comes with a lot of responsibilities if you’re the homeowner. Some things that you’ll want to do to make sure the house you’re renting out remains in good condition include checking for any pest issues, inspecting the floors and walls, checking the smoke detectors, and keeping up with basic maintenance duties. If you keep in mind that the property is your home, you’ll treat it accordingly.
Also read: 4 Things That Make Cleaning Your Kitchen A Breeze