Fall tree colors

Fall rental property maintenance can often save property management companies and investors money. For example, if winter rains and snow come and the roof leaks, roofing contractors will be contacted when they are at their busiest, which means delays and higher costs. In the fall, contractors may not charge as much because they need the work. Tenants become unhappy with the inconvenience associated with a leaky roof. In severe cases, the home may become uninhabitable, causing a loss of rental income. So it is best to be proactive because proper fall maintenance helps landlords keep rentals full with satisfied tenants. Check below for fall upkeep tips.

Bi-Annual Inspection

DenCO Property Management & Sales (DenCO) inspects its rentals twice a year. Fall is an excellent time to schedule inspections to identify any needed repairs to keep the home habitable, warm, and tight. Also, bi-annual inspections allow the property manager to determine whether the tenant is complying with the terms and conditions of the lease. Scratches, dings, and repairing older appliances are considered wear and tear and the landlord’s responsibility. However, suppose the inspection finds holes in the wall, broken windows, or pet damage. Any repair costs should be communicated to the renter and deducted from the security deposit when the tenant moves out. Click here for more information about bi-annual inspections.

Maintenance Responsibilities in Lease

Typically, the lease states all property manager and tenant maintenance responsibilities. The renter takes care of minor maintenance and regular upkeep of the home, such as mowing the lawn, shoveling the walks when it snows, changing the furnace filters, and taking out the trash. The property manager oversees structural, plumbing, appliance, heating, and electrical projects. Fall maintenance keeps the property manager ahead of any wear and tear issues and prepares the home for the winter.

Annual Heating System Service

Heating is considered a necessity by the State of Colorado, so a well-working heating system is a legal requirement for rentals. There are legal penalties if tenants are without heat for an unreasonable amount of time. Annual maintenance before it gets cold is good business, so we recommend cleaning and servicing the furnace in the fall because most tenants will turn them on in October. Also, annual maintenance extends the life of the furnace and boiler and increases system efficiency. Check all venting and gas piping for natural gas and carbon monoxide leaks.

Roofs

A sound roof is considered a necessity by the State of Colorado. Annual roof maintenance extends the roof’s life and avoids the cost and hassle of indoor repairs caused by leaks. In the fall, check the roof for missing shingles, hanging branches, and other problems.

Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts

During the fall maintenance, clean the gutters and downspouts. Add splash blocks or pipes underneath the downspouts to direct the water away from home. Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to flooding because water overflows down the wall into the home’s foundation and basement.

Tree Pruning

Falling tree branches can cause property damage, so be sure to take down any hanging branches around the home. The bigger the tree, the more important this task becomes during each fall rental property inspection. If the stems are too high or immense, hire a tree service company for pruning or tree removal.

Water Heater Inspection

Denver water is cold and creates condensation on the exterior of the steel storage tank inside the heater. The condensation is slightly acidic, so over time, the acid slowly eats away the tank wall until it fails. Water heaters last ten years in Denver, so inspect any water heater older than five years in the fall.

Fireplaces, Chimneys, Vents, and Smoke Alarms & Detectors

Rentals with fireplaces need their walls and chimneys checked during the fall maintenance visit by the property manager. Any cracks need patching, and chimneys need periodic sweeping to remove any accumulated pitch. If the rental property has a gas-fired furnace, water heater, or clothes dryer, check their pipes and vents for gas leaks and the presence of carbon monoxide. It is a must that all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors function correctly.

Driveways and Sidewalks

Large tree roots can break sidewalks and raise driveways, presenting hazards to tenants. It is best to repair them when it is still warm, so please include them in a fall maintenance inspection visit. Waiting till the following spring or summer to repair or replace them exposes the property management company and owner to more risk.

Winterize Lawn Sprinkler Systems

A rental home’s lawn irrigation system must be blown out before the first freeze. Drain any water between the shut-off valve and the house service line. Please remember that October polar plunges happen in Denver, so plan accordingly.

Cover or Drain Exterior Faucets

We recommend draining the pipes feeding the hose values on the side of the house. If not possible, cover the bibs to prevent freezing. Every once in a while, Denver has a hard freeze. Frozen outdoor faucets cause basement flooding because the ice follows the pipe into the interior, bursting it. When it thaws out, water gushes out. One solution is to replace the outdoor faucets with frost-proof sillcocks.

Decks, Patios, Fences, Retaining Walls, and Other Landscape Features

Check all outdoor living spaces and structures in the fall for problems like loose boards and bricks. Any item that can cause tripping or bodily injury needs to be repaired or replaced in a reasonable amount of time to avoid tenant accidents.

Rake the Leaves

If the tenant opts out of raking leaves in the fall, it is a good idea to take up and remove them. Removing and disposing of leaves protects the lawn and garden, prevents slipping hazards when it rains or snows, and keeps the next-door neighbors happy.

DenCO is a fully insured property management company. We manage properties in Denver’s top neighborhoods and offer real estate brokerage services. Please call 303-722-9688 for an appointment.