The Preventative Maintenance Plan Needed For Your Rentals
I think we may have a problem, There seems to be a patch of mushrooms growing in one of your units.”When my property manager first called me with this information, I actually thought the service request was a joke. That was until I saw this photo! The first question I asked myself was, why hadn’t I heard about this sooner? According to the tenant, this mushroom appeared within a few hours, which is impossible. I immediate sent my handyman out to the property to assess the damage. It turns out that a pipe behind the shower had been leaking for several months. The excess water formed a puddle in the corner of the bathroom. Over time, this damp corner formed spores, which sprouted mushrooms – YUCK! After talking with our contractor, it seemed that the best solution long-term was to re-pipe the entire house. When I purchased the property, I knew that this repair needed to happen eventually. Luckily I had set aside a portion of the monthly cash flow to pay for this eventual expense.I can now happily report that the property is fungus free. However, I still wonder why my tenant didn’t call us sooner when the leak started. Even worse, she made no attempt to clean the area before she started harvesting a small mushroom farm! Regardless of her reasons, this whole experience made me re-think my yearly maintenance plan. Then it occurred to me – I didn’t have one! I was quick to repair any items that were damaged or broken, but up until this experience, I hadn’t created a plan to minimize these types of big-ticket expenses. I was largely running the business from a very reactive posture.I realized that, unless I came up with a plan, I could literally end up losing thousands of dollars in avoidable repairs. After spending a few hours kicking this idea over, I came up with the following maintenance plan.The Annual Rental Property Maintenance PlanI am now scheduling a yearly walk-through on all my properties. I formulated a checklist of items, as follows:Air Conditioner: Replace filters at least twice a year, before and after summer. I encourage tenants to replace filters on a monthly basis, but worst case scenario, I know it will be replaced during the peak times of use. Doing this as well as servicing the unit annually can extend the life of the system by several years.Tree Growth: Take note of branches and root growth. Look for any trees that may need to be cut back from the house, walls, power lines or A/C. Also watch for root growth beneath concrete surfaces. Catching overgrowth early can prevent major expenses like repaving a driveway.