Real estate investors have a little extra responsibility when it comes to seasonal maintenance. Fall maintenance to perform on your rental property includes safety inspections and repairs, as well as preparing for changes in the weather. Be sure to give tenants proper notice before entering the rental to perform maintenance.
Make sure your property complies with all fire safety regulations. Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test their function. Ensure there is a clear fire escape route, appropriately marked with signage as required by any local laws or regulations. Conduct a drill for your tenants to practice a fire evacuation plan.
Change furnace filters and have your HVAC system serviced for proper function and ventilation. Clean out dryer vents and inspect dryer lint screens—plugged dryer vents can be a fire hazard. If the property has a fireplace, hire a chimney sweep to clean the chimney and inspect the cap to keep warmth-seeking critters out.
Check the Roof and Clean the Gutters
Have your roofer inspect the roof for loose shingles, potential leaks, faulty seals around vents, and other roof issues. Make recommended repairs before the weather makes getting up on the roof dangerous or impossible.
Fall maintenance for your rental property should include clearing gutters of leaves and debris and making sure downspouts eject water far enough away from the foundation. In cold climates, clogged gutters can cause winter ice damming, which harms the roof and causes interior water damage. Further, melting snow and ice back up under shingles and seep into the home. Gutters full of debris can cause leaks even where the weather never reaches freezing temperatures.
Check Weather Stripping and Seal Gaps
Replace old, cracked weather stripping, and seal any gaps that have appeared around windows and doors. Give proper notice to tenants and perform this maintenance on both the exterior and interior of the home. Animals large and small will try to invade the home as the weather cools, so take preventative measures to seal gaps or screen areas where squirrels, raccoons, or skunks may attempt to establish nests or dens, such as beneath decks and porches.
Trim Trees and Inspect Stairs and Walkways
Windy winter storms can bring down dead branches. Have a professional service removed dead or damaged branches and trim trees back far enough away from the home to be safe enough to avoid damage to the home or injury to tenants.
Make sure stairs have the proper railings, and exterior walkways can be easily cleared of snow and ice. Additionally, remove any invasive plants that have established themselves in cracks in the pavement or between paving stones.
The climate makes a difference in the types of maintenance your property will require. Professional property managers will have a seasonal maintenance routine they perform for their client property owners. In the Metro Atlanta area, including Suwanee property management, professional property management services will keep your investment homes ready for seasonal changes.