All the signs of summer waning are here: vacationers are returning home, kids are getting back to school, and – though pumpkin-spiced flavors aren’t quite hitting coffee shops yet – it’s clear that fall is just around the corner.
For landlords and property managers, this is the sweet spot – the perfect time to wrap up end-of-summer tasks for incoming and outgoing tenants, and to tackle property maintenance issues before autumn arrives.
Here are a few items to keep in mind on an end-of-summer landlord checklist, to minimize hassle and maximize efficiency and cash-flow:
1) Arrange for seamless incoming and outgoing tenant transitions.
Summer is a very common time to move, so if you’re managing residential properties, this is a fact of life. It doesn’t have to be a hassle, though, and a lot of the pains associated with the process come from a simple lack of communication. Make early, thorough, and follow-up communication a hallmark of the process for your company. Tenants should know ahead of time all of the important dates, times, and expectations from the landlord/management company, and you should be available (in-person, when possible) and willing to help move things along during what can be a stressful time for tenants. Final inspections are important – tenants want a security deposit back, and you want a clean space that you can turn around quickly for the next occupant – and tenant surveys are a great tool to find out what the company’s doing well, and where it could improve.
2) Test safety devices – now and all year long.
From smoke alarms to carbon monoxide detectors, there are safety devices all around the property or space that need regular maintenance or upkeep to stay in operating condition. Make summer one of the many times that you do this, throughout the year.
3) Prepare the property for seasonal weather and pests.
Of course, the specifics of this checklist item vary, depending on where the property is. But predicted weather events like the upcoming El Nino, for example, suggest that now would be a good time for West Coast landlords to clean out the rain gutters and stock up on sandbags. Don’t forget about interior fixtures, like bathroom and attic fans and air filters, that would benefit from a thorough cleaning before weather changes. And many pest-control companies have seasonal treatments that are based on what creepy-crawlies are most prevalent during this time of year in your region, so that can be a beneficial service (that keeps those ants away when the rains hit).
And as always, if you need help maintaining your income property, Strategic Realty Group is on stand by!