Successful property maintenance involves more than just collecting rent and paying the mortgage each month. Five important areas to keep maintained properly include the appearance the property, entrances and exits, building systems such as HVAC, plumbing, and electricity, pools and hot tubs, and the roof.

Costs for upkeep, losses and repairs make ongoing maintenance vital to keep any property looking its best, operating at peak efficiency, and in compliance with safety regulations. A maintenance budget recommended by Fannie Mae accounts for two percent of the property value annually—a small cost that can yield long-term benefits.

Appearance of the Property

A property’s outside appearance is just as important as the inside conditions to attract tenants and buyers and protect the overall value. Ongoing maintenance to improve and keep up the curb appeal includes things like regular trash removal, touch-ups to paint and items such as railings, awnings, or gutters that may start to look worn but aren’t ready for replacement, removal of any accumulated clutter to proper storage or disposal, and other cosmetic issues.

Entrances and Exits

Entryways and exits are high traffic areas of rental and commercial properties and need regular attention to safety and appearance issues. The entrance is one of the first things tenants, and visitors see and use. Maintain entrances and exits to provide secure access to buildings. Proper lighting and trimmed landscaping around doors and windows improves security and reduces cover for criminal activity. Properly maintained doors and gates are important for safe and easy opening and closing to prevent injury or damage to people and items passing through, so check hinges, latches, doorknobs and handles, and steps and doorframes for loose hardware and trip hazards.

Building Systems

The comfort and safety of tenants depend on the building’s systems, including HVAC, plumbing, and electricity. State and local laws require housing that’s maintained with basic habitability requirements for available heat, water, and electricity, as well as safe premises. Failing to maintain building systems can lead to consequences such as tenants withholding rental payments or calling local building and zoning departments for inspections and actions, or even a lawsuit for substandard conditions, according to legal information experts at Nolo.

A regular maintenance and inspection schedule for HVAC, plumbing, and electricity keeps these issues under control.

Pools and Hot Tubs

Maintenance of pools and hot tubs with parts from vendors like Hot Tub Works is a proactive, preventative maintenance practice that protects the value of the property and health and safety of tenants. Service Team Training owner Mark Cukro explains on Property Management Inside that big problems can be avoided with 60 minutes of pool maintenance per week.

Diligent and ongoing monitoring of pool chemicals prevents slimy water and overuse of chlorine, maintains safe and hygienic conditions for swimmers, and prevents costly damage to pool structures and systems.

Roof

Roofing is exposed to the elements 24/7, and repairs left ignored can result in further damage requiring costly replacement. Proactive roof inspection and repair save money and prevent more costly damage while protecting tenants from leaks and other exposure. Annually inspect roofs in spring and fall and as needed after severe weather with high winds or other damaging natural occurrences like unusual weather.

Look for missing shingles, accumulated debris from trees like branches and leaves and animal damage such as holes and scratch marks. Inspect gutters when you inspect roofs, as they can cause roof damage if clogged or broken, allowing water to accumulate that should be directed away from the building.

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  1. Trouble is a majority of properties fail to budget and maintain an adequate sized maintenance team.
    One body (without considering skills needed) for every 100 units is not feasible for properties 35 years and older. Managers routinely fail to place enough focus on resident retention. Having service requests addressed in the same day will greatly increase resident retention. Which, correct me if I’m mistaken, translates into increased profit.

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