A professional inspection routine can help make the management of a rental property much easier. It is vital to develop an extensive maintenance checklist that takes into account the unique requirements of a house or any other type of property. Failing to do so can result in health and safety issues or even legal problems, as the laws to ensure good living conditions in a rental property are very strict. You must comply with all up to date legislation with regards to service connections (water, gas electricity).
A maintenance checklist and inspection routine should typically involve the following essential assessments:
- Checking fire alarms, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors. In some buildings checking fire doors is also necessary
- Maintaining building interiors, which involves regular cleaning and being vigilant in getting features of common areas repaired and replaced as necessary.
- Assessing the safety and effectiveness of water heaters, sump pumps or boilers – and any other important building facilities.
- Maintaining and cleaning gutters and any other outdoor areas, ensuring they remain safe, functional and free from all leaves and debris.
- Implementing preventative maintenance strategies.
When you buy a home or commercial property it will require rental property maintenance to a high standard, which is why many people choose to use a property management company. However, for some landlords managing a property themselves is entirely possible. Here we will help you to do so.
As experienced providers of maintenance and home improvements for rental properties across London, we can offer residential property maintenance checklist tips to make sure that you cover all bases. To make use of our property maintenance services in London please feel free to get in touch.
Deciding Property Maintenance and Inspection Routines
The principles of property maintenance remain the same whether you are using the following tips to create a home maintenance checklist or require a more commercial facility maintenance checklist. Sometimes the prospects of property maintenance can be daunting, so it is important to develop a reliable routine.
You should take the following into account during the regular inspection and management of any property:
Fire Safety Checks
Fire safety is a critical issue and it is something that many people take for granted. Fire in a residential building is even more of a safety issue as they have a much higher occupancy than a typical commercial building.
Make sure you practise the following fire and safety maintenance strategies:
- Have a map of all fire alarms and extinguishers, this will make testing during your routine a bit simpler – you can also pass this map to any staff.
- Check safety signage and warning labels, which may come off or become damaged more easily than a fire extinguisher or fire alarm.
- Develop an emergency evacuation plan, you can find detailed tips on this directly on the government’s website.
You should also have a full Fire Risk Assessment. These are professional assessments of the building, which can yield additional opportunities to enhance safety and may add further points to the maintenance checklist that you create.
Many landlords operate rental properties in converted period buildings, particularly in older buildings located in the centre of larger cities. As a result, you may come across unique maintenance requirements for any common areas.
To develop a maintenance checklist routine for common areas consider the following:
- Check all lighting in the common areas, this is incredibly important for safety and all common spaces must be well lit.
- Landscaping and outdoor areas, which will need to be similarly safe and secure – regular clearing of leaves and debris is important.
- High-standards in your cleaning, you cannot have a common area too clean as many people will use the space – so cleanliness is paramount.
Good property maintenance checklists will take the regular assessment of common areas into account, as shared furniture, side tables and mailboxes may require occasional replacement or repair.
Hot Water, Heating and Building Infrastructure
You can make an argument that proper hot water and heating are critical to overall health and safety standards, and it is a common complaint from tenants when something goes wrong. As such, remaining vigilant in this area is crucial.
When forming a maintenance checklist take the following into account when it comes to your water and heating infrastructure:
- Safety certifications are important for gas, hot water and heating. As a landlord you may not have the qualifications to do these, so a third-party will be needed and can ensure that everything is working properly.
- Ventilation is important in smaller rental properties. Make sure to check all kitchen or bathroom extractor fans and other ventilation is performing well.
- Fault diagnostics and cleaning are essential to prevent issues. Make sure you include regular professional cleanings and fault diagnostics for all gas and heating infrastructure.
The core of good property maintenance is effectively managing the fundamentals of gas and heating. By keeping on top of this part of a house or any other property you will avoid many property management headaches down the line.
Gutters and Outdoors
It is easy for unreliable property maintenance providers to neglect outdoor spaces. Making sure any grounds are free from leaves and debris will improve safety but can also make a property much more livable and increase rental value.
Your property maintenance checklist for outdoor spaces should take the following into account:
- The basics help a lot, whether that is simply lawn maintenance or perhaps hedge trimming – simple garden maintenance goes a long way.
- Always check drains and gutters, simple clearing of gutters and drains on balconies or the outside of a house will prevent many drainage issues.
- Safety is more of an issue outdoors. Ensure any home improvements such as patios or decking are sturdy and fit for regular use.
Maximising the potential of any outdoor space in a rental property can boost the rental value, particularly for people who are living in cities where outdoor space is at a premium.
Preventative Property Maintenance Tips
If someone told you they could eliminate or reduce the needs of your property you would surely let them! Preventative maintenance strategies can help to lower your cost and time burden by stopping issues from arising in the first place.
Take the following preventative strategies into account when forming your management routine:
- Keep a keen eye on points of entry. Regular inspections of areas where people exit and enter the building will help keep common doors working properly.
- Walls and paint can easily become scratched or marked by a suitcase or when carrying something bulky. Examine them regularly and repaint as necessary.
- Windows, particularly in common areas, can become a security concern and cause energy leakage without maintenance – check them regularly. If you can prevent a break-in, this is worth doing.
Preventative strategies are a smart way to manage a property, and implementing these techniques into a property maintenance routine is a sign of good management for many tenants.
Residential Property Maintenance Checklists Explained
It does not matter whether you have a range of properties in a skyscraper or a small unit in a single converted period property, effective maintenance will help you to deliver a better service and ultimately offer a more valuable form of residential accommodation.
Checking everything regularly for safety, functionality and general appearance is a crucial step for everybody – but there may be unique challenges for your specific situation. For a reliable solution, you can use a property management company.
We operate in London, so if you require first-class property maintenance at a low cost and to a high standard please feel free to get in touch.