Fall in Atlanta brings a welcome break from the summer heat and sends many residents outside to enjoy the milder weather. For Atlanta residential property management companies and property owners, this good weather should serve as a reminder to perform seasonal maintenance. One of the best ways to save money as a property owner is staying on top of maintenance issues, and catching small problems before they become emergencies. Contact your property manager to check the following items at your rental property, and remind your tenants of seasonal maintenance items they are responsible for.
Fall Maintenance Inside Your Rental Property
Before you visit your rental property, talk to your tenant about the maintenance you will be performing, and schedule a time to come. Ask your tenant if there are any issues that need to be addressed, and remind them if anything comes up in between inspections they can submit a maintenance request through our online tenant portal.
Make a checklist of the things you need to check inside the property. Your checklist may vary from property to property, as each will have different features. Here is an overview of the items you or your Atlanta residential property management company should inspect inside your home every fall.
- Smoke Alarms: Check that every smoke alarm is in working order. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.” The USFA also recommends replacing the batteries in your smoke alarm once a year, and replacing the alarm itself every 10 years.
- Electrical Outlets: Most tenants do not take the time to regularly feel their electrical outlets for warmth, but this quick check could save you from a house fire. Warm or hot electrical outlets could signal a problem with the wiring in your rental home. If you or your tenant feel heat coming from electrical outlets and switches call a professional electrician to inspect further.
- Flooring: If your rental property has carpeting check to make sure it is all lying flat. Loose carpeting may buckle and present a tripping hazard.
- Loose Railings: Another safety hazard noted by Atlanta residential property management companies are loose railings on balconies and stairs. Wiggle any railings around your rental home and tighten if necessary.
- Heating Systems: The best way to extend the life of your heating and cooling system is to perform regular, preventative maintenance on it. Filters should be changed every 6 months, or sooner if your tenant has pets. Before the weather gets too cold, make sure your heating system has a routine check from an HVAC company. Routine check-ups cost around $100, but could add years to the life of your system making them well worth the small upfront cost. If your home has a furnace, make sure you reset the dampers before turning it on for the winter. Oil the bearing around the blower shaft and motor, and check for damage or worn out parts around the unit. Address any blocked vents and leaky air ducts.
- Indoor Pipes: Some home builders run water pipes through the attic. Your Atlanta residential property management company can help you determine if this is the case if your rental property. Proper insulation of these pipes is needed before freezing weather hits Atlanta.
- Lease Compliance: Routine inspections provide an opportunity to check that your tenant is complying with all parts of the lease. For example, all residents must be listed on the lease, and anyone over 18 must fill out a rental application. If your tenant decides to move their significant other into the home that person must fill out an application.
A fall inspection is also a good time to remind your tenant of emergency procedures and their responsibilities. Make sure your tenant knows where the water and gas shut off valves are. Inside the home, your tenant is responsible for keeping certain things clean and in good shape. You may want to provide your tenant with a fall cleaning checklist of their own, to remind them of the items for which they are responsible. This can include cleaning out drains, vacuuming around appliances and air ducts, and cleaning floors and rugs. In addition, your tenant should report any issues, big or small.
Outdoor Maintenance Recommended By Your Atlanta Residential Property Management Company
The outside of your rental home needs attention before winter hits. Regular outdoor maintenance will increase your curb appeal and extend the life of your home’s systems. Here is a checklist for you and your property manager.
- Landscaping: Your lease should lay out who is responsible for the landscaping at your rental property. Often your tenant is the one who must keep the yard maintained by mowing, edging, raking, and weeding. Fall is a good time to remind your tenants of their responsibility to keep the yard, grass, and flowers in good shape. With winter weather on the horizon make sure you alert your tenant to any plants that need to be covered during a freeze.
- Straightening the Yard: Atlanta residents spend more time outside during the mild fall weather. Now is a good time for your Atlanta residential property management company to remind your tenant to take a look around the yard. Your tenant should throw away debris, and clean up lawn equipment and playthings. Some items will need to be stored in the garage or shed during the winter. Tell your tenant to be proactive about moving these items so they do not feel rushed if a sudden cold front hits.
- Weatherizing: According to the National Weather Service, the average first freeze in Atlanta is mid-November, though a freeze can occur as early as mid-October. Weatherizing the outside of your rental house before a freeze can protect your home and keep your tenants warm during the winter months. Make sure the home is well-insulated and replace any worn-out weather strips and peeling caulk from around windows and doors. Outdoor electrical outlets should be covered to protect against drafts. Water pipes should be insulated to prevent the lines from bursting during freezing weather.
A well-prepared home can withstand the winter weather and keep your tenants safe and happy. Taking a small amount of time to perform a fall inspection will lead to time and money saved in the long run.
Cost-Effective Atlanta Residential Property Management
Investment property owners are always looking for ways to cut costs around their property, and for good reason. The less it costs to maintain your rental property, the more income you have from your investment. While it may feel counter-intuitive, the most cost-effective way to run your property is by performing regular inspections and preventative maintenance. For example, an HVAC check-up and routine cleaning costs around $100. Replacing your HVAC system can cost as much as $10,000. Routine cleaning will also ensure your system is running smoothly, keeping your tenants happy. Preventative maintenance for your HVAC system will extend its life and save you thousands of dollars.
How Specialized Property Management Atlanta Can Help
While a cleaning and inspection checklist is nice, nothing compares to knowledge gained by experience. That is why we recommend leaving regular inspections to our property managers. A professional property manager from Specialized Property Management Atlanta can help you streamline your inspection process in several ways:
- Experts in Inspection: We inspect all of our properties regularly so we know what we are looking for. We can spot small issues before they turn into large problems that cost you thousands in repairs.
- Communication with Tenants: One of the trickiest parts of Atlanta residential property management is communicating with your tenants. Maintaining a single-family rental property comes with different responsibilities than many tenants are used to. For example, if your tenant previously lived in a large apartment complex they are not used to maintaining the landscaping. Respectful and clear communication is important so your tenants are happy and safe in their rental home. Oftentimes we see that tenants take better care of the property when they see you performing regular maintenance on it.
- Vendor List: We work with licensed vendors around Atlanta so when your home needs extra care from a professional plumber, electrician, or another contractor, we know who to call. We can make sure you get top quality work at a great price.
Avoid expensive mistakes and the everyday hassle of property management by hiring one of Atlanta’s top property management companies. Our Atlanta residential property management company goes above and beyond to ensure that you and your tenants are happy and comfortable. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta, we provide unparalleled expertise, ensuring that you can cut costs without sacrificing quality. Our clients often find that they save more in time and money by working with our property managers than if they self-manage their rental property.
If you’re searching for a property management team to take over your rental property, give us a call today. Our professional, experienced property management team will provide you with a rental quote. To get started, call 404-596-8454.