When you own a property, your hope is that it will increase in value over the years. This is true whether you live in it or use it as a rental. It’s easier to maintain your own residence because you’re there every day and tend to notice the items that need attention, like a leaky sink or roof, a cracked window, peeling paint, etc.
But when that home is a rental, you have to make a concerted effort to get inside and take a look … for maintenance issues, and tenant cleanliness issues as well.
For my Indianapolis rental properties, I try to do apartment checks after we’ve had a good soaking rain. Here are some things I always check:
- Smoke alarms
- Furnace filters (they should be changed every three months)
- Ceilings (for leaks)
- Under every sink (again, for leaks)
- Floors around toilets and tubs (are they soft? If so, there’s a water leak somewhere)
- All rooms for cleanliness
I do the same for all of the rentals I manage for other people. It’s important that your tenants see your face from time to time. When they know you care, they’re more likely to care! And of course, there’s a clause in my lease allowing me to evict if they don’t maintain the property.
At some point down the road, whether it’s your own home or a rental, you’ll want to sell. If you protect that investment now, your efforts will be rewarded in the end, when you plan your exit strategy.