A Good Resolution for 2020
Have you already abandoned your 2020 New Year’s resolutions? That’s actually okay in our books, because we have a better one for you – remind your tenants to take care of their units.
As a New Year’s Resolution, in our residential buildings, we encourage tenants to maintain their rental units by performing the following inspection tasks on an annual basis:
If your rental unit is equipped with a water heater, it’s the tenants responsibility to inspect the water heater pan and the condition of the shut off valves for signs of leaks and rust. The reason why tenants should inspect the water-heaters is due to the limited life span of these products. And an advanced warning is one way of saving on emergency plumber visits.
If there is rust on the pipes or water in the pan, it’s likely the heater is about to burst. Test the gas shut-off valve for any signs of gas leak. If a leak is found, you should immediately contact your local utility company.
In addition to water heaters, they should inspect the water shut off valves located on your toilets, faucet, and under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. They should know how these work.
If a leak does happen, and water cannot be turned off because the valve is broken or frozen, you’ve got a potential flood. The tenant should notify the property manager or landlord immediately.
It is recommended that you contact a licensed plumber to repair leaking fixtures immediately. To prevent clogging issue in drains and toilets, remind tenants to not flush inappropriate items down the drain such as diapers, construction materials, cloth which can clog or damage the sewage lines or garbage disposals. These events really do occur.
Additionally, they may visually inspect shower heads and tub spouts for leaks on a regular basis as a preventative measure. This is much less expensive than replacing them.
If tenants discover any stains on the unit ceiling or wall to their adjacent neighbor, they should report them to the landlord or property management office immediately. If leaking is from supply or drain lines, it will become an expensive repair.
If tenants have a fireplace in their unit and use it, you’re advised to hire a certified vendor to perform a chimney sweep once per year. One suggestion however, is to inspect furnace valves using soap and water to test for any possible gas leaks.
Most renters know how to check if their furnace filters are clogged, and of course replace them if they are clogged. Other items related to HVAC and heating furnaces are beyond the understanding of the tenant and they shouldn’t be lead to believe they can diagnose the condition. However, if leaks and water pools appear, they should notify the landlord or property manager right away.
Other Maintenance Checks
Other maintenance checks tenants can conduct include lubricating hinges on doors, cabinets, and window slides, cleaning all window and slider tracks. Most tenants are required to replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries. Smoke detectors are the first lines of defense in the event of fire. In most jurisdictions they are the law. Thus, it’s essential that tenants check, repair, replace, and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.
If tenants intentionally remove smoke detectors or carbon dioxide devices in their units, it will jeopardize the building’s and other tenants’ safety which is a material breach of lease. Remind tenants that if they burn food accidentally and the smoke detector is triggered, they should not not attempt to air out the unit by opening the unit’s main entry door, since air may flow to the corridor and trigger smoke detectors located there.
Good Tenants Are Receptive to Good Management
This list of rental unit maintenance items to remind tenants of is part of a professional property maintenance plan. Educating tenants and demonstrating how to clean and inspect can keep emergencies to a minimum. And you should see savings in maintenance work and equipment replacement.
Most good tenants want to know how to take care of their rental. Even if they have tenants insurance, they do not want to experience an emergency or have to wait for a repair. If you’ve done your tenant screening well, your audience should be receptive to it.
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