Updated February 2021
Even though it is still early, spring is setting in. That means it is time to do some important spring cleaning for your rental properties. Where should you begin?
Spring cleaning and maintenance for property owners can feel overwhelming at times because of how many things there are to get done. This is the perfect time to get organized and handle the spring maintenance on your rental properties in an effective, efficient way.
By creating a checklist of what you need to manage for your properties during spring, you can ensure you are properly taking care of your investment for the months to come. Today, we’ll highlight the maintenance procedures that every property owner should take note of as the spring season takes hold.
Table Of Contents On Spring Cleaning Tasks For Landlords
Do you know what types of projects you should take on as a landlord this spring season? It can be hard to decide; this list of leading maintenance for property owners can help.
- Spring Cleaning And Maintenance For Property Owners
- Spring Cleaning Checklist For Landlords
- Get Things In Order This Spring!
When it comes to spring cleaning and maintenance for property owners, your focus should be balanced between tenant management, ongoing maintenance issues, and future potential. All of these things can be followed up on with the right maintenance tips.
The tips outlined below will help you plan what needs to be taken care of in, on, and around your properties each spring. While not all of these tips are strictly seasonal, it can be good to ensure you are doing certain types of inspections and maintenance on a regular schedule. Including those items with your spring cleaning will ensure that they are reviewed frequently enough.
Now is a great time to begin formulating a newsletter for your tenants that describes all of the things you will be doing for them as well as what they can do to make their spring and summer as cool and uneventful as possible.
Communication is key to setting expectations about what your tenant is expected to do, so get that letter out there in the next couple of weeks.
Spring Home Cleaning Tips
It might feel weird to give your tenants maintenance tips, but these things can be phrased in a helpful and considerate way. Don’t focus on telling tenants what to do, but rather offer helpful spring cleaning tips.
Depending on the property type, tenants might be unfamiliar with things they can do to make both of your lives easier.
Consider what types of things your tenant might want to do that they may forget about, such as wiping down their windows and door to remove the buildup from snow and mud over winter. Additionally, tenants might also enjoy tips on how to set their HVAC systems to run properly on a schedule throughout the warmer months.
This letter is also a great place to remind tenants about the things they are responsible for maintaining. If you are renting out a house and the tenant is responsible for cutting the grass, for example, a gentle reminder can be easily placed within your newsletter.
As an experienced landlord, you likely have an idea of what kind of things people tend to forget as you re-enter warmer months. There’s no harm in giving a gentle reminder in this way, and it can be done very easily.
A spring newsletter is a great way to remind your tenants that they can, and should, let you know about any issues that need to be taken care of.
Tenants can help you and themselves by notifying you of any maintenance issues that may best be taken care of now rather than later. Things such as leaky faucets, stuck windows, and appliances that seem to be working a little less effectively than before are key items to look for.
In your letter, remind tenants that you cannot fix problems you don’t know about. The sooner they let you know about any issues they have discovered, the faster you can get them repaired to proper working order. Spring is a great time to work out these issues!
When it comes to house spring cleaning, scheduling preventative maintenance is crucial.
Preventative maintenance covers all repairs that don’t need to be done immediately but can help protect and improve the property by being handled sooner rather than later. Maintenance such as cleaning or replacing damaged screens and broken shingles could be included in this category.
For properties where you are responsible for maintaining the common areas, make sure you are keeping up with the general maintenance tasks at this time. Tasks such as cleaning up the landscaping as winter thaws out would fall under your responsibilities, and you should do these things as quickly as possible.
General maintenance tasks such as the following are especially important in the spring:
- Maintaining landscaping
- Cleaning and repairing drainage systems
- Checking roof for leaks or problems
- Ensuring all doors lock properly
- Checking for cracks in the caulk
- Checking the fire system
These things need to be done yearly, but it can be helpful to add them to your spring checklist.
At The Property
Now is also a good time to replace the batteries in smoke detectors as well as carbon monoxide sensors (if needed). Of course, spring is an ideal time to change HVAC filters in your property HVAC systems—doing so now also gives you a great opportunity to verify that the air conditioning is working in each and every one of your rental units.
Additionally, it is a great time to make sure that all of the included appliances at the property are being properly maintained and in working order. Refrigerators, stoves, and other appliances need regular maintenance and cleaning to last as long as possible; ensure that these things are being done.
To do preventative maintenance in any occupied property, you will need to connect with your tenant to make sure they are comfortable with these things and to set up a time for the repairs. Be sure you set up all maintenance according to what is outlined in your lease agreement to prevent any problems or miscommunications.
As a landlord, you are probably familiar with what types of objects often turn up torn or damaged when you turn over a property. Additionally, you know what items are most frequently requested to be replaced while managing a tenanted property.
You may want to begin stocking up on critical supplies like A/C filters, light bulbs of various wattages and sizes, garbage disposals, various screws and fasteners, and other consumables like faucet aerators, water filters, shower heads, and water heater heating elements, if applicable.
This is a great time of year to stock up on these things! Often, there are sales on home improvement items during spring and summer because this is when the buying and selling markets are most active. There are often deals on windows and doors as well, so you can keep this in mind for properties you are renovating.
Take advantage of the sales while you see them. However, don’t feel pressured to invest in more than your properties will need in the immediate future unless you have the free funds and storage space available.
The real estate market is hot during this time of year, but that doesn’t always mean good things for real estate landlords and property managers.
People tend to move most frequently during the spring and early summer months, so you will typically find yourself using a lot of materials and supplies during this time of year. You may also find that your preventive maintenance routine gets put on the back burner this time of year because of all the move-ins and move-outs.
Try to refrain from making that mistake. In fact, you may want to consider hiring some temporary staff just to help keep up with all that will be going on in a few short weeks. Line up your independent contractors too, so they don’t become a sticking point in getting new tenants moved into their apartments.
Your workload is going to suffer during this time frame if you don’t prepare for it in advance. Make sure you do what you can to hire help beforehand so you are ready to go when things start to get busy! You don’t want to be left shorthanded simply because you were unprepared.
You will need to set your budget and calendar for more carpet cleaning appointments, painters, paint and supplies, as well as general maintenance on move-outs. There are always things you need to repair before moving a new tenant in. Cleaning or replacing everything that needs to be turned over in a property can add up.
More to the point, the costs of what you need to turn over are going to change each year. When you find yourself handling these costs during these few months, crosscheck your numbers with your budget.
Are the costs still lining up with what you expect to pay when replacing things in each property?
If costs are going up, make sure you take time to update your operating costs appropriately. Rent and other figures may need to go up as well, but you will only be able to figure this out if you take the time to revise your budget. We recommend that you take time to update your budget in detail at least once a year.
Is this a time of year when you are dealing with a lot of tenant turnover?
Depending on when your lease timeframes fall, you may have to find ways to do your usual tasks as well as the additional springtime tasks. There is a lot to get done, after all!
Additionally, your time will be tied up more too, because you will be doing more inspections during this time, as well as all of the marketing to get new tenants and all that that endeavor entails: things like interviews, background checks, more frequent deposits, more frequent and greater expenses due to all of the outside vendors you may have to bring in to get people moved out and in as fast as possible.
Obviously, planning in the early spring for all of the activity that will ensue in May and June is time well-spent. If you don’t plan soon, you may find yourself scrambling at crunch time.
If you find that you simply don’t have the time to handle everything that needs to get done, it might be time to look into hiring a rental property management company. Property management companies can take over a predetermined amount of work for you, so you have the freedom to grow and maintain your business on your own schedule.
Do you have the necessary systems in place to make your work flow smoothly? Many landlords are always flying by the seat of their pants to get things done. If you are only doing things when they spring up and have to be handled, it might be time to develop some management systems.
Putting systems into place for certain aspects of rental property management will make your job easier and improve your overall business model. For example, the following can be helpful to develop:
- Move-in and move-out procedures checklists
- Property turnover guide
- Sample forms on file (i.e., lease agreement, pay or quit notices, etc.)
- Rent payment guides for tenants
- Tenant screening checklist
For all of your tenant screening, background checks, and credit check needs, RentPrep can help to simplify your tasks.
Preparing all of these systems in advance is going to take time, and that’s okay! It’s also okay to not prepare them all at the same time. As you gain more experience, you’ll be able to know exactly what kinds of systems it will be good to have in place.
Take time once a year to review your systems. What is working? What’s not? Fix it! By improving your systems, you’ll be ensuring that your rental business is stronger during each coming year.
Though it can be hard to shop for a great deal when the market is competitive, there is usually a lot more inventory on the market during spring and summer. Landlords looking to expand the number of rental properties they own may want to take advantage of this inventory increase.
Things might get competitive, but it’s a great time to shop the market. Plan in advance for the types of properties you will consider buying, and give it to your real estate agent to keep an eye out for you. If they find anything that fits the bill, you can more seriously consider if it is the right time to expand.
Now that you have more detailed knowledge of what you can get done successfully on your rental properties during spring cleaning, it’s time to check out this spring cleaning checklist for landlords.
While this is a relatively comprehensive list, it’s important to always personalize the checklists you use. Only you know exactly how your business works and what needs to be handled at any particular time. Make sure you modify this checklist to include anything that is unique or necessary for your properties.
- Set up a spring newsletter for your tenants, including spring cleaning tips
- Do preventative maintenance
- Check the roof for leaks or broken shingles
- Change air filters and check HVAC systems
- Replace damaged screens, windows, and doors
- Change batteries in carbon monoxide monitors and fire alarms
- Check existing appliances
- Stock up on items you frequently replace
- Review your workload
- Make sure you have maintenance lined up for property turnover
- Hire extra help in advance of the busy season
- Revise your budget
- Evaluate your time management
- Hire more help if you need it
- Keep an eye out for new potential rental properties while the market is hot
- Set up systems to better manage your properties (i.e., easy-fill forms, checklists, etc.)
There are hundreds of things you could do each season. Focus on doing what is most pressing, and find ways to work in everything else as needed. You’ll find you can manage your properties more successfully if you work on prioritizing things in this way.
In every house, spring cleaning means something different. While spring home cleaning tips for homeowners often focus on decluttering what is owned, tips for landlords are focused on making sure your business is working efficiently.
This is a great time of year to declutter your workflow, get on top of preventative maintenance, and ensure your properties are in tip-top condition. Remember:
- It’s time to remind your tenants to let you know about needed repairs.
- You can create systems to make your workflow easier in the future.
- Hired help can be handy as long as you plan in advance.
It’s the perfect time to make sure that your business will keep thriving. With the right tools, you can do just that!