A great landlord attracts and the kind of tenants who take care of the property, pay on time and maintain a landlord’s reputation in the community. Being a great landlord means being accessible, reasonable, and respectful when dealing with tenants, but it also means being proactive about key issues of property safety and maintenance.
Keep It Clean
The first thing a landlord should definitely take care of is providing a clean, liveable space. This isn’t just a nice or smart thing to do: the laws of every state provide serious legal penalties for landlords who don’t keep their grounds and buildings sanitary and free of vermin.
Contract with a pest control company to do regular checks of your property and take steps to prevent infestations of ants, roaches, and especially bed bugs. If you own a larger, multi-tenant property, hire a local cleaning company to regularly go over common areas and shared spaces to keep them sanitary.
If pest control or a tenant finds a dead animal, contact a dead animal removal specialist immediately before it causes a health hazard. Make sure you have the appropriate number of garbage receptacles and that they are regularly emptied and sanitized. The lawn around all garbage receptacles should also be kept neat and trimmed so there’s no convenient hiding place for unwanted animals.
Keep It Safe
Landlords also have a legal obligation to keep their properties safe for occupants. This is a big area of concern because there are many hazards to anticipate on behalf of your tenants, from home invaders to improper utility connections and damaged fixtures. Don’t wait until there’s a problem to address these issues so you don’t leave yourself open to a lawsuit.
All main entry doors should have deadbolt locks, and every window capable of being opened needs a locking device. Whenever a new tenant moves in, change the locks so they have peace of mind instead of wondering how many former tenants (and their friends) might have a key. Your tenants will also be safer when there are plenty of lights around, and those lights need to be regularly checked and replaced whenever they go out.
Fixtures like stairs, elevators, railings, and walkways also need to be properly maintained. Arrange for yearly inspections of the elevator and railings on all stairways and keep up with regular sidewalk maintenance so you can stop large cracks before they develop. All utility connections should be inspected by a qualified professional who can assure you they are in line with state safety regulations.
Keep It Functional
All the facilities in your rental property need to be in good repair. While there is certainly a bare minimum you can get away with, it pays to go above and beyond in enhancing functionality. Rental units with appliances and facilities that save tenants money and look nice encourage good tenants to stay.
According to the experts at Honolulu appliance repair pro, you should have major appliances inspected once a year to prevent major breakdowns, perform basic cleaning and maintenance, and catch small issues before they become expensive problems.
The same preventative treatment will also keep the plumbing in good working order and ensure tenants aren’t wasting money on leaks from faucets and pipes. Don’t forget that windows and doors have important functions, too: to keep out the elements. Once you’ve put in windows and doors that fit and function efficiently, always respond to tenant concerns quickly to repair any issues.
And as a bonus, be a great landlord! The law requires landlords to keep their properties habitable, but going beyond just the basics will win the hearts of your tenants and ensure they want to stay with you rather than move on to something better the first chance they get.