Being a landlord or property manager is more than viewing tenants as dollars signs. It’s about building mutually respectful relationships and creating goodwill that will make working with your tenant on fixing repairs and showing the property to prospective new tenants at the end of a lease go smoother.
A fundamental rule to being a good landlord is not waiting until something is broken on your property to fix it. Catching a problem and fixing it when it’s small can save you thousands of dollars down the road.
A common question asked by renters is “How often does a landlord have to replace carpet?” Generally speaking, carpets should be replaced every five years. However, not all carpet is created equal and therefore it is hard to put a time stamp on when it should be replaced due to normal wear and tear. But, if the carpet is damaged it should be replaced before a new tenant moves in.
Here is a typical timetable for repairs and replacements that every good landlord or property manager can utilize.
- Repaint. Repainting covers nicks, scrapes, and other imperfections, and it also provides a clean, fresh look for the next tenant. Repainting is usually done at turnover for every apartment home. As a general rule, a paint job should last three years, although a quality paint job can last much longer.
- Extermination. No one wants to share their living space with creepy-crawly critters. You should exterminate monthly or bi-monthly to prevent such problems from occurring.
- Fix leaks. It is critical to identify a water leak early. Ongoing leaks can completely damage walls, ceilings, and a tenant’s possessions. Dangerous mold can also form, which can be a large expense, especially if it is over 10 square feet, which would have to be remedied, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Guidelines.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Check these devices monthly to make sure they are in working order. Both battery-operated and hard-wired devices should be tested. The average lifespan of a carbon monoxide detector is 5 years, so replace as necessary. Smoke alarms have a useful life of about 10 years.
- Shower Caulking and Grout between Tiles. Over time, the grout between tiles can crack and the caulk surrounding the tub can loosen. When this happens, you no longer have a waterproof seal and water can leak through and damage the surrounding walls or floor below. As soon as you notice any cracks or holes, you should replace the caulking or grout to prevent potential water damage.
- Flush the Water Heater. Replacing a water heater is expensive so once or twice a year you should drain your water heaters. This is done to remove the sediment that can build up in your unit from the municipal water supply that enters your property. If too much sediment builds up, it can reduce the efficiency of your water heater or clog the drain valve.
By spending a little time and money now to perform property maintenance, you can save yourself a lot of time and money in the future. Remember, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!
How to Be a Successful Landlord in 20 Easy Steps – https://www.landlordology.com
How to Be a Good Tenant: 12 Steps – https://www.wikihow.com
Every Landlord’s Legal Guide, By Janet Portman, Marcia Stewart and Ralph Warner