Clayton Sanders

Preparing Your Rental for Summer
by Clayton Sanders

Whether your rental property is a seasonal rental or rented year-round, the change in the weather is a perfect time to do some important maintenance. Keeping your investment in good shape is important to maximize rental income. It helps prevent accidents and high maintenance costs in the case of bigger, urgent issues. Your rentals may suffer damages from snow, rain, or hail; hence why maintenance is necessary when renting or selling your home during the summer season. If you own a rental property, here are some tips on how you can prepare your rental for summer.

Start with the landscaping

When it starts to heat up and the leaves turn green, the first thing that you’ll see the moment you pull up is the landscaping around your rental property.  If it’s a vacation rental, it’s even more imperative to stay up on your yard maintenance. With landscaping, you do not need to do much to make a big impact; trim up any hedges or shrubs, cut and fertilize the grass, and make sure the flowers are tended to. The outside of your rental should look well maintained and welcoming. You can decide to do the landscaping yourself, or if you aren’t afraid of spending a little bit, a local landscape company would be happy to help you out.

Inspect the exterior for any damages

Winter can be hard on the exterior of your home.  Ice, snow, and cold can cause cracking and breakage on, not only the exterior home material, but the surrounding concrete on sidewalks and driveways. Because of this, you should make sure that you inspect the exterior every spring. It will help you discover the parts which are not in the right condition and repair them. You’re looking for damaged siding, missing shingles, uneven cracks or holes in the concrete, or damaged guttering.  Making simple repairs to winter damage can help prevent accidents with tenants on the property.

Service the HVAC unit

During the summer, fresh air is very important for every house. The weather can get very hot, and an efficient air conditioner is a must to have in a rental. You can start the initial inspection yourself by inspecting the air conditioning unit for any apparent problems. Turn it on, make sure it blows cold air in the home and doesn’t make any odd noises. Next, change the unit’s filter if necessary. It is advisable that you replace it after every six months. Then, take a look at the unit itself. Clean it by removing dust, debris, and insects. When the air conditioner is well maintained, you’re less likely to have a problem in the middle of summer when service fees will be high.

Take a look in the attic and foundation

Winter can cause issues that you don’t see right away.  They could be hiding in places that aren’t visited often by the tenants- the attic and basement/crawl space. You’ll want to check to make sure there are no signs of water leakage or excess moisture that would cause further damage or mold. The same thing goes for a crawl space- check all the vents to make sure there is no accumulation of moisture and that it’s protected from varmints.  

Prepare for pests

Pests can be a nuisance to people when they are not controlled. They tend to come up during the summers when it's hot and sunny. It is vital that you take necessary preparations to make sure the pests do not cause a disturbance to your tenants. The best way to avoid pests is by making sure there is no place for stagnant water, keeping the grass short, and maintaining the bushes.  You can do your own inspections throughout the year, but it may be more advantageous to hire a pest control company to do regular maintenance. The pest control company should use environmental friendly pesticides to make sure they do not affect the tenant.

Take precautions for the fire season

If your rental is in an area where wildfires are a concern, you need to take the time to prepare early. It’s a key part of protecting your investment and making sure your tenants are safe during the summer. Trim all vegetation away from the roof line and exterior of the home, avoid using wood mulch, and clean out gutters.

Check smoke detectors and other safety devices

Smoke detectors and alarms play a crucial role in mitigating fire damages. It is important that you inspect the fire alarms and detectors to make sure they are working in good conditions. Note, it is a requirement by the law to install fire alarms and detectors in every home. Other precautions for your rental include a carbon monoxide detector and keeping a first aid kit on premises.

These are simple things that you can do to make sure your investment continues to provide returns and mitigate losses throughout the summer season.  Another option if you’re not interested in doing these things on your own is hiring an experienced property manager.

Clayton Sanders
Clayton Sanders is a real estate enthusiast and Brand Ambassador for Transactly living in St. Charles, MO. Clayton spends his time researching real estate trends, and the implications of NAR data on the current US housing market. Clayton credits the foundation of his real estate knowledge to Worth Clark Realty.

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