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Do You Follow this Property Maintenance Checklist? When it Comes to Wear and Tear…Stay on top of it! | By: Michael Monteiro

Property Maintenance Checklist

When it Comes to WEAR & TEAR: STAY ON TOP OF IT

Wear and tear is a fact of life for every landlord. Let’s talk about the specifics of what to expect when it comes to basic home/apartment ?x-it work and how to stay ahead of the maintenance game.

Remember, that as an investor and landlord in South Carolina, whether you’re tenants are paying $700 in Travelers Rest $1,800 p/month in Clemson, $400 down town or $3,000 p/month on Lake Keowee, stuff wears out.

Sure, it’s true that the lower the rent, the quicker some things wear out, But don’t get caught waiting to make preventative maintenance repairs well in advance.

 Generally speaking, the best time to take care of wear and tear on a home is between tenants. And often, this goes beyond just doing a thorough cleaning and making sure that everything is spic n’ span for your next tenant. While it’s so obvious that this between-tenant downtime is the perfect opportunity to take care of any and all outstanding issues, all too often things are still neglected. Whether it’s because the window of time between tenants is so short or so expenditures are already up for the month, it can be easy to let the little things fall to the wayside until next time. Our best advice? Don’t.

No matter how small a wear and tear item seems, no matter how loudly the voice inside your head tells you it’s okay to leave that tiny problem with the hardwood door until the next time you ?ip the home (“But it’s so small!”), don’t delay. All too frequently little things become big things if they are left unattended. Also, the best way to ensure that your property maintains—or even better yet increases—it’s value is to constantly stay on top of everything.

A few things that will help you make sure those wear and tear ?xes are taken care of immediately:

  1. Always keep frequently used supplies on hand: paint, plaster, ?oor polish, door knobs, latches, hinges, blinds, linoleum tiles, etc. 
  2. Develop good relationships with contractors you trust so that they’re likely to come out and help you if need be…even if it’s last minute. Most vendors will go out of their way to keep their best customers happy.
  3. Insist on doing a walk-through of every vacated home yourself. Take the time to get an overview of the home or apartment and see what needs to be
    done with your own two eyes.
  4. Make a checklist of wear and tear items to go through during your own personal walk-through. This will help ensure that every unit is elevated with the same standards and degree of thoroughness, even when time is of the essence. Think of it as your
    personal system of checks and balances.

To help with your checklist, we like the tips provided from Rental Housing Online. Based on that, we suggest adding the following to your checklist every time a unit turns over.

Wear and Tear Checklist1. Check all door knobs and locks to make sure they aren’t loose and are working correctly.
2. Open/close closet doors to ensure they’re on-track.
3. Make sure hinges and handles on doors and cupboards are not loose.
4. Check carpeting for dirt and other signs of wear.
5. Check carpet seams to ensure they are not coming up at the edges.
6. Make sure wood, tile, and vinyl ?oors are not scuffed, scratched, thinning, or loose.
7. Check countertops for wear or scratches.
8. Check ceiling for stains.
9. Check walls for cracks.
10. Make sure all wallpaper is securely applied.
11. Check drapery rods, curtains, and blinds.
12. Make sure all windows, latches, and screens are in good shape.
13. Check faucet handles.
14. Check toilet for leaks or running.

Finally, remember that although vacancies provide a great chance to go in and take care of wear and tear issues, you should always remain on top of general maintenance and housekeeping. Encourage tenants to let you know when little things need to be fixed or repaired (and thank them every time they do so). When you are asked to visit an occupied unit for any reason, keep an eye out for wear and tear issues that need to be resolved and ask your tenant for the access necessary to resolve them immediately.


This article is brought to you by the Upstate Carolina Real Estate Investors Association. (UCREIA)
Information about UCREIA’s Educational programs can be obtained off this website or by contacting the club’s Dir. of Education, Karla Kuhn

UCREIA is a non-profit club made up of volunteers who themselves are investors and are dedicated to the purpose of educating real estate investor and providing networking and business opportunities among real estate investors all over the Upstate of South Carolina.

Michael Monteiro, CEO of Buildium LLC , maker of online property management software for landlords.

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