If keeping your property in tip-top condition is part of your job as a property owner, it’s even more important to get it right. Landlords have a special responsibility to their clients and tenants to keep their homes in great condition, and spring clean each year, or before a new tenant moves in, shows how much you care about quality and comfort. Then what are the best ways to embark on this annual spring cleaning event? We’ve compiled a list of essentials for a thorough maintenance checklist when attending to your property this spring!
A consistent newsletter to tenants and clients is a great way to keep them informed about any improvements or changes going on with their property. It is also a great chance to help them feel included and cared for, and for you to promote the effort you are putting into keeping their homes in great condition. A newsletter can also give tenants a healthy level of expectation about what you have planned for their homes and/or buildings over the coming months. Warn them about any construction work or similar inconveniences that are planned. Also, give them the good news–like if any improvements or additions are on the horizon.
This is also your chance to hear back from clients about any key negative or positive points they want to bring up concerning the property. Giving residents a voice and chance to be heard might save a lot of trouble in the future, so invite comments. If there is an issue that is upsetting several tenants, consider it an opportunity to act and show them your property is more than just a business–that you care about the environment they live in and you are prepared to act promptly to sort it out.
2. Prevention Is Better Than Cure
No landlord or tenant wants to deal with a disaster in their home that can be easily prevented. This means that your annual spring cleaning should also include safety measures such as checking electricity points, fire extinguishers, and changing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and burglar alarms. It is also a good time to check on filters in any appliances, ensuring they are up to date and replacing them if so required. Extractor fans, air conditioning, and other interior appliances might need a filter change, so keep an eye on this to prevent damage or irritation from tenants. A calendar of necessary updates is a great way for landlords to keep track of what property needs attention at a specific time of year.
3. Plan For Your Budget And Supplies
Spring is a popular time for people to move, so it is often one of the busiest periods for landlords and property owners. Make sure that you have factored this into your budget. There may be renovations or carpet cleaning required, and these burdens on an annual budget can be cumbersome if several tenants move out at the same time. Also, ensure you have adequate supplies to deal with any moves and home improvements. Keeping a regular inventory of stock and items in need of replenishment is a great way to avoid last minute panics.
4. Ensure You Have Enough Time And Staff
The busy spring season is very tough on landlords and property owners, and it’s vital that you allow yourself enough time to do a quality maintenance overhaul on each property. Consider hiring some temporary staff to see you through the busy time and factor this into your yearly or quarterly budget. It might be tempting to think you can be all things to all people, but delegation is an important part of your role as a property owner and will help prevent burnout and disappointment to tenants.
5. Let Your Property Shine
Summer is on the way and in the property maintenance world, this means a chance to show off your assets. Los Angeles is a beautiful area where the gardens are legendary for their lush foliage and exotic blooms. This gives Los Angeles landlords a perfect opportunity to display the best in their rentals and make the landscaping around their properties shine. Shrubs and trees need pruning and cutting back to make sure that they look well-cared for. This is a great way of showcasing your property and sending a message to tenants that you care about how the property looks and not just the basics of keeping the water running!
Keeping the grounds looking spic and span doesn’t stop at lawns and flowers. You need to make sure that the parking lot isn’t looking too tired after all the wear and tear it’s had in the previous year. It might seem insignificant but a bit of attention to these areas regularly saves a major overhaul in the long-run. Be on the lookout for any other common areas need some TLC as well. If there are lobbies or communal corridors, they may need a lick of paint or some carpet cleaning. Check that all windows are in good condition and locks are working smoothly without any annoyances like sticking doors.
Many Los Angeles landlords oversee pool maintenance at their buildings and properties. The summer is a prime time for pool use, so you need to get all your pool staff together to give the pool a proper cleaning and make sure that everything is ready for swimmers and sun worshippers to enjoy the pool area in the upcoming warmer months.
6. Check The External Fittings
Property maintenance is about checking if a building is safe as well as comfortable. It is important to check exterior fittings for damage at least once a year, and spring cleaning is a perfect opportunity to carry out this task. Any roof areas need a thorough inspection, as do drains and drain pipes. Air conditioning systems that are located outside should also be evaluated and cleaned out or serviced if necessary. It is much more cost-effective to deal with small issues that can be easily fixed, rather than wait for further damage to be done. Cracks in drain pipes, loose roof tiles, and loose doors or windows should all be repaired before the damage becomes more costly.
Don’t neglect windows and window sills. Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to make sure they look good from the inside as well as the outside. Make sure window sills are not rotten or peeling and maybe consider a window box to add a little extra color to the exterior.
7. Interior Repairs And Improvement
Once all the external details have been attended to, it is time to focus your attention on the property’s interior. Spring cleaning is easiest when there are no tenants in residence, so if you can get into the property while it is empty, you’ll have free rein to go to town on indoor property maintenance. Not only can a property benefit from painting and deep spring cleaning, but this is also a perfect time to check that plumbing is working correctly, make sure shower heads are in order, and change filters in air extraction systems.
Small considerations like light bulbs and fluorescent lighting need to be looked at and replaced if needed. Be sure to also check doors and windows carefully, making sure that the seals are in place and fastenings are in good working order. Oven seals need to be in good condition to avoid expensive repair, so include this on your checklist as well. If a landlord is proactive in this way, tenants remain happy and satisfied–ensuring a positive reputation for your property. It also saves costly repair and emergency visits over the long-term.
8. First Impressions Matter
When tenants see your property for the first time, it is the entrance they see first. This means that it stands as a signpost for your quality and services, so make sure it is in peak condition. Shabby or broken signage gives your property a bad image, so make sure yours is as well cared for as it can be. Front doors are also important in signifying quality and care, so make sure they are freshly painted, clean, and in good working order. Little touches like flowers or plants in hallways and slip mats at doorways give an overall good impression, so try and look at each room and common area as if for the first time, and if necessary, bring fresh eyes in to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
The moral of the story is, use your spring cleaning as an opportunity to really make your properties work for you. Take advantage of empty properties to put the extra effort into making your tenants as happy as possible. Also, keep in mind that a concerted effort in spring cleaning might save you a lot of work and frustration for the rest of the year.
Do you have anymore questions concerning spring cleaning or maintenance for your Southern California rentals and/or properties? Contact LBPM Los Angeles property management experts today or call now at 818-918-3967 for any assistance on managing your properties!