The costs of repairing and replacing appliances in your rental property can be significant if preventative maintenance practices are not employed. Protecting appliances are an integral part of good property management. A landlord runs the risk of losing significant profits by having to call an appliance technician regularly for repair. Last issue we focused on how to get residents to participate in a preventative maintenance plan. This issue we will focus the landlord.
The maintenance checkup should be performed a minimum of twice a year; not just during the refurbishment efforts between tenants moving. (Spring and Fall are the best times) It is recommended to choose a day to do maintenance a month and a half in advance. This will allow plenty of time to reschedule in case of conflicts.
The following is a checklist to preserve and protect your rental's appliances.
- Replace HVAC filters and remove other debris around the system. Wipe off accumulated dust and grime. (Electronic filters must be changed monthly) Make sure that you check and clean all vents.
- Check and replace if necessary weather stripping around doors and windows.
- Remove accumulated sediment and residue from the hot water heater by draining completely.
- Remove debris and accumulations from outside unit of the HVAC system that may prevent the smooth passage of air. Restricted air thru your outside coils can burn up your compressor. Cleaning can be accomplished by simply running water in from the outside as the A/C unit is running. Ensure that lines’ insulations are attached and properly affixed.
- Check basements and crawlspace for dampness from leaks.
- Remove mold mildew from bathrooms completely or add new caulking if necessary. Include vents and windows.
- Patch holes in bathroom caulking. Clean grout on tiling and repair if necessary.
- Run water on all sinks and check for leaks.
- Run the dishwasher with vinegar to remove residue and check for leaks. Clean filter and lubricate or replace seals. Check the inside of the dishwasher for any scratches or places where the coating may be missing off of the dishwasher rack and apply sealant.
- Run a full cycle on the washer with vinegar to remove residue and check hoses for leaks.
- Remove lint and other debris from the close dryer filter and vents. Disassemble cabinet and clean lint inside the dryer cabinet that can catch fire
- Add baking soda to garbage disposal loosen caked on food particles.
- Clean the stove burners with a degreaser and test ensure a free passageway of the gas. For prevent fires and reduce use the same degreaser to clean the hood, oven and surface area to reduce. Don’t forget to clean other vents and windows.
- Vaccuum refrigeration condenser coils and brush off other grime and build-up.
- Defrost freezer/refrigerator and clean. Don’t forget to clean the drip pan. Seals and gaskets must be cleaned and lubricated. (Replaced if necessary)
- Change smoke/fire detector batteries and test.
Practicing due diligence and attention to detail separates very profitable operations from mediocre ones because they can withstand business cycles over time
L2L would like to thank Robert Lemal (www.atlantaappliancerepair.com)
for his wisdom and contribution to the writing of this article.