All landlords try to keep their rental properties in perfect condition, as this is one of the many features that attract tenants towards a rental unit. Timely rental property maintenance is, in fact, one of the many traits of a good landlord and helps potential tenants set you apart from the rest. But what maintenance tasks should you undertake before a tenant checks-in and what is your role as a landlord in terms of maintenance during the tenancy? Let’s find out.
What Comes Under Rental Property Maintenance?
Well, this checklist will help you prepare a property for rent but once that’s done, how frequently should you inspect or perform repairs on the rental unit? Which of the potential rental repairs and replacements is actually your responsibility? Check out the list below:
- Water Leaks and Seepage
- Heating or Cooling Systems
- Pest Infestations
- Clogged Gutters
- Overgrown Yard
- Plumbing Fixtures
- Electrical Wiring
- Fitted Appliances
Keeping the above in mind, let us clarify that as per landlord-tenant law in Pakistan, once a tenant moves in, they will share the responsibilities of maintaining the rental property along with the landlord. While all structural damage renovations like the ones mentioned above are to be undertaken by the landlord, all damage caused to the interior of the property by the tenant will need to be fixed by them at the end of their tenancy in order to get their deposit back in full.
Accordingly, it is important for landlords to choose the right kind of tenants for their property. Here are some questions that must be asked from all potential tenants before signing on the dotted line.
Now, let’s discuss the rental unit maintenance tasks that you need to perform during your tenant’s occupation.
Water Leaks and Seepage
Water damage and seepage from the roof after a heavy monsoon season can compromise the structural integrity of a rental property. It is up to the landlord, as the owner of the unit, to inspect the premises after rains and to ensure that the safety and health of the tenants is not put at risk due to leaking and damaged roofs or walls.
Heating or Cooling Systems
If your rental property is centrally heated or air-conditioned, you should make sure that the system is working properly before you rent out the unit. If the system is not functioning properly during a tenancy, the tenant can contact you for rental unit repairs relating to the air conditioning or heating system.
Pests can compromise your property’s structure by burrowing through walls and floors. Thus, you should check for pest infestations at the start of every new season and ensure that termites, mice, ants, or other pests do not end up nesting in your home due to lack of care and maintenance.
Clogged gutters should be cleared before the property is rented. However, you will need to perform timely rental property maintenance if a gutter becomes clogged and starts flooding the property. Having good communication with your tenants can help you stay informed about any possible emergencies and urgent repairs that need to be tackled before they do further damage.
An overgrown yard with roots creeping under the foundations and branches hanging over the house can cause severe damage to the structure if the branches are not cut back and the plants are not uprooted in time. A strong wind can blow branches into the house or your tenants might find roots snaking out from under the floors in any of the ground floor rooms if you don’t keep an eye on the property as the owner. This does not mean that you need to pay for the regular upkeep of the yard, but just make sure that your tenants are not letting the yard run wild as this will be problematic for you after they vacate the premises.
From clogged toilets to dripping sinks, all bathroom and plumbing fixtures in the kitchen need to be repaired by the landlord to avoid water damage and loss of water. While your tenant might not be worried about the constantly dripping taps, you need to inspect the property every six months and ensure that there are no minor plumbing repairs that may turn into major replacements over time.
The electrical wiring of the rental property is just as important as its plumbing system. From installing electrical meters and fixing sparking switches, to sending over a trusted electrician in case of a short circuit, the landlord must safeguard their property from accidental fires and damage. Your tenants should always know your number so that they can call you in case of an emergency where a small problem can lead to loss of life and property if care is not taken.
Offering appliances along with the property is one of the ways to increase the rental worth of your property. But this adds some more responsibility on the landlord’s shoulders. Since you own the appliances, you must maintain them in working condition before renting the property. You may also be required to inspect them from time to time to ensure that your tenants are not misusing the facilities provided to them within the rental unit.
Make sure that you perform all of the above rental unit maintenance tasks to retain tenants for longer, as a lack of timely maintenance is one of the major reasons why tenants move out of rentals. Poor upkeep might also be one of the reasons why your rental property is still vacant in spite of being listed on all the right places.
Here’s how to list your rental property online, if you’re uncertain regarding what to mention in your rental listing. Check out this step-by-step guide to renting out your property if you need more assistance.