This Month’s Question comes from Bill in Los Angeles:
“Hi Kari, What are your top building maintenance tips?”
Hi Bill! This is a great question because when it comes to maintenance, it’s much better to be proactive than reactive. Here are my top 10 maintenance tips:
Tip 1: Residents. Always.
Pick good residents. Screen prospective residents carefully (background and credit checks) so you are building a positive community ecology for everyone. Nothing is more important in keeping costs down.
Tip 2: Six month smoke detector check.
Use the six-month smoke detector check to watch for habitability issues (ensure residents don’t have trash or vermin in the unit). Also check plumbing for leaks so your money isn’t literally going down the drain.
Tip 3: A/C units.
Check the A/C units to make sure the filter is clean and air is flowing easily. Quarterly cleaning is recommended. Tenant education on how to keep clean is helpful as well.
Tip 4: Leaks. Always.
Respond to complaints of leaks immediately. The resident is happy and a rapid response can mitigate damage to your building.
Tip 5: Regularly touch up the paint on the front of your building.
Curb appeal is vital to prospective residents. Your current residents really appreciate a building that is well maintained. And…
Tip 6: Peeling paint.
Take care of peeling paint immediately, inside and outside, as it can be a health hazard. Peeling paint not only looks bad, but it can be harmful if it contains lead.
Tip 7: Doors & Windows.
Make sure doors and windows lock properly and that all windows have screens.
Tip 8: Energy efficiency.
Make sure you are using energy efficient lights in common areas that come on automatically, a laundry room light with a timer or motion detector. Make sure landscape timers are adjusted weekly and consider rain sensors, which run about $150.
Tip 9: Plunger.
Keep a plunger on site for quick access to prevent unnecessary flooding and saves money on plumbing calls.
Tip 10: Garbage disposal wrench.
This is a great tool to have on hand as many disposals can be reset instantly.
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