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Everything needs to be replaced and updated and maintained from time to time in our homes. If you rent then you have the benefit of passing on those duties to your landlord but if you own your home then you are responsible for the upkeep of that house, whether you live in it or not. Things like taking care of a roof in need of repair or installing storm windows and ensuring gutter repairs are all things that need to be done, otherwise you are not being a very good landlord and will have a hard time keep tenants. If you are neglecting the home you are living in, your own living conditions will be very poor. Here are a few things that you should always do to maintain a home.

Gutter Repairs
Different things can cause gutters to break down and fall apart. Weather conditions is the main issue but debris and other problems can play a part. Periodically you should have the gutters and the roof checked- you can do this at the same time. Shingled roofs need to be checked often to make sure no shingles need to be replaced so at the same time, the gutters can be checked. More often than checking, gutters need to be cleaned out. As an owner, you can put this in the rental contract, that the tenant is responsible for cleaning out the gutters. This will avoid a lot of premature gutter repairs that could happen. Simply cleaning out leaves and sticks that may get blown into the gutters will help the flow through the gutters to be better and obstructions not to damage the gutters.

Landscape Maintenance
Keeping up with the outside of the house could be either the owner or the tenant’s responsibility, depending on their agreement. If you leave in a monsoon area, storm damage can cause a lot of problems with large trees and bushes so this may be something that you want to determine responsibility for beforehand. This way there is no confusion if there is a breakdown in landscape maintenance. Some owners will leave the tenants responsible for the mowing of the grass and water of the plants and general upkeep of the outdoors but some choose to hire a company to do it for them to ensure that it is done properly. There is no wrong choice, it purely depends on what the owner prefers.

HVAC System Checks
A heating and cooling system should be professionally looked over twice a year; once after summer and once after winter as these are the heaviest usage times. Doing this will save the owner a lot of money because a qualified professional will be able to see upcoming problems before they cause breakages in the system. Waiting until the system breaks is poor ownership of your property. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run by taking care of the smaller problems as they occur rather than waiting until a huge issue comes up.

Communication Check Ins
This basically comes down to allowing your tenant to talk to you when something has gone wrong. If the garbage disposal breaks or the carpets need replacing, your tenant should feel free to approach you regarding these issues. Most owners choose to communicate through an agency which is perfectly fine but either way, tenants need the ability to let the owner know that something needs doing so that they can continue to live happily in the home. Otherwise you will have a very high turnover rate of tenants which doesn’t look good on your record and will cause a lot of stress to you.

So whether it’s an entirely new roof or lawn or simple gutter repairs, make sure that you are keeping up on your house, even if you don’t live in it. The people that live there want nice houses to, even if they are not able to buy their own for whatever reason. They are counting on you to have integrity and honesty and be able to uphold your end of the contract as they pay you monthly rent. It should be a mutual agreement that both parties are required to abide by in order to ensure everyone is happy and satisfied.


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April 2024