Rental property owners know that maintaining your investment is important. It leads to a lot of important benefits, such as tenant retention, higher rental values, and better ROI in general. This is easy to forget, however, when you’re paying the bills for preventative maintenance.
Today, we want to talk to you about owner maintenance and its importance when you’re working hard to earn money on your Portland rental property.
When we talk about owner maintenance, what we mean is the work you have to do when you own a home or a building or several units within a complex. You know you’re responsible for providing a safe and habitable environment for your tenants to live in and enjoy.
However, your responsibilities go beyond that, and it’s for your benefit as well as theirs. Certain maintenance items are often neglected, and we want to shine a light on those things so you know where you should be looking in order to earn more and spend less in the long term on your investment property.
Have You Cleaned Your Dryer Vents Lately?
Dryer vent cleaning is a good example of neglected maintenance items. It should happen a lot more than it does. Think about the last time you cleaned out and vacuumed your dryer vent. Maybe you’re one of the proactive people who do it regularly or maybe you just did it as part of your own preventative maintenance plan. If that’s you – congratulations. Now go remind one of your friends to do it at their property.
Most people forget about dryer vents. It’s an easy system in your property to neglect. But it should be scheduled, not only at the home you live in yourself but at any and all of your rental properties and units. A dryer is an appliance that you provide for your tenants. That means you are responsible for maintaining it and ensuring that it works. If the dryer breaks down and your residents can no longer use it, you’ll be the party responsible for buying a new one.
One of the ways to preserve the condition of this appliance and to extend its lifespan is by regularly cleaning out the vent. This also protects your home from potential fire hazards and other maintenance problems. Sure, it can seem like a hassle to get in there and make sure everything is cleaned out. But, it’s a lot easier to deal with than buying a whole new appliance. It’s cheaper, too. This is one example of how taking care of generally neglected maintenance items can earn you more money with your rental property. You won’t have to buy a new dryer anytime soon and you won’t have to worry about lint fires at the home.
Cleaning Out the Gutters
Cleaning out the gutters is another example of owner maintenance that can often be ignored or deferred. It’s a bit more obvious than the dryer vents; you can actually see your gutters, and you’ll know when they are neglected. If you don’t clean your gutters as often as you should, it’s going to be obvious. There will be a lot of overflowing of rainwater, leaves, branches, and other debris that will clog the gutters and cause all sorts of problems both inside and outside of the house.
Do your gutter cleaning twice a year at your Portland rental properties. You can find a local company to take care of this task for you, and once you’ve established an account with them, you can leave the scheduling and reminders to them.
Cleaning your gutters regularly helps you earn more money on your investment property because it protects your home. When you’re on point with the gutters, you can expect:
- A roof that’s in better condition. Clogged gutters can cause problems for your roof, and you want to avoid the overflow of water that can result in leaks and mold.
- Protection against foundation problems. Too much moisture at your property can lead to issues with your home’s foundation, and those are not going to be inexpensive problems to address.
- Easier elimination of pests. Clogged and full gutters make cozy homes for insects, rodents, and other critters you’d rather not have running around your property. Eliminate their habitat with regular gutter cleanings or expect to pay more for extermination and treatment.
- With clean gutters, you’re protecting the value of your home, keeping your good tenants in place, and ensuring you don’t have to worry about larger and more complex repair issues.
Set-Up Service with a Local HVAC Contractor
The Portland metropolitan area has some interesting weather. You need to make sure your HVAC system is ready for that. As a local property management company, we recommend that all of our owners schedule routine service with a heating and cooling technician twice a year.
Not everyone loves this idea. It’s expensive to have your HVAC system inspected, cleaned, and serviced two times annually. You’ll have to expect to pay three or four hundred dollars a year. However, think about the value of your system. To replace it, you’ll spend thousands of dollars. It’s more cost-effective to ensure it’s running reliably.
When you maintain your HVAC system, you save money and you provide better air quality and lower energy bills for your residents. That’s going to work in your favor because it will lead to tenant retention and a rental home that’s running more efficiently.
It’s worth your service fees to protect this piece of equipment. You want an air conditioning and heating system that lasts as long as it can. You can expect your tenants to change the air filters on a regular basis to help with its maintenance. Most good tenants will do this. At the end of the day, however, this is your investment property, and you are ultimately the party who is responsible for ensuring that everything runs and works the way it should. You can’t feel frustrated about a tenant who isn’t changing the filters if you’re not willing to invest in HVAC inspections every year.
Improve Your Portland Rental Property During Turnover Periods
When you have tenants moving out, take some time to make improvements before your new tenants move in. You’ll want to take care of all the preventative maintenance we just talked about, and you should also inspect the landscaping, think about pressure washing your property, and take whatever steps are necessary to present an attractive, well-maintained home to your next potential residents.
Service everything you can. It will lead to higher rents and highly qualified tenants. When you take care of things like dryer vents and gutters, you’ll have tenants who appreciate living in a well-maintained home. They’ll stay longer, and your vacancy and turnover costs will drop.
With routine property maintenance, you will come out ahead with your Portland investment property. If you need some help with this, contact us at PropM, Inc. We’re your local Portland property management resource, and we love providing information, education, and resources to our owners. Check out our newsletters that arrive with your owner statement every month. We provide a lot of good tips on some of the things we do to protect rental homes.