This time of year can be fun and exciting, it can also be hectic and stressful. In an effort to make the summer more exciting and take more off of your plate, here are some time and money saving tips to do this summer.
Dealing with the Heat
With soaring temperatures many landlords are dealing not only with keeping Air Conditioning in the unit running, but also stopping pests and heat from entering in. Landlords need to understand how to properly cool a property as well as seal the entrances to the property. First thing you should do is change the filters often and when needed. It’s important to have clear communication about this with your tenants, as well as show them how to change the filters so they can do it themselves. When doing inspections check the ducts and provide service to them as necessary. Some landlords and tenants prefer to have the AC or cooling unit off while not at home or on vacation; but this actually ends up costing both parties more money. If the property is maintained at a constant relatively cool temperature it can end up creating a happy tenant and save you a little money.
When Doing inspections (we recommend doing quarterly or seasonal inspections – about 4 times a year) make sure to check the doors and windows. Ensure that there are no gaps where pest and drafts could enter. If you need to secure an exterior gap, door or window you can use calk, weather stripping and padding. Or, if you would like, the UAA has many members who specialize in handyman work like this. It is also recommended that some sort of pesticide is used around outside entrances as well as the perimeter of the building.
There are many different options for you to save energy and money. Check with the Associate Members of the UAA to see in what ways the vendors who are part of the association can help you enhance your property. If you would like to do the work yourself most of the supplies mentioned are available at HD Supplies or Lowes.
One of the best opportunities summer provides is the ability to work on things that are inaccessible during other seasons. During this optimal time of the year, landlords need to ask and answer 2 question. What needs to be fixed? And what do I want to upgrade? Things that immediately need to be fixed are roof leaks, rain gutter build up, unsafe structures and fixes that would be required to sell the property. Once you identify these things, the only step left is to ask “how do I want to fix it?” This you can do yourself or contact an associate member. When looking at upgrades, it’s important for a landlord to understand 1) this is an upgrade to YOUR property 2) it will keep the tenant happy 3) You are increasing the value of your investment. Often landlords will overlook upgrades, for whatever reason, and pass up the potential to make more money. In the summer look into re-doing the stucco, or buying some new blinds. Your tenants will stay longer, and it will make it easy to rent in the future.
Create a list of property task that could be done. Organize them by importance, figure out which ones are necessary and finally how many of those things you can afford. Landlords who do this and take advantage of these opportunities not only have a better looking property, but a better bottom line as well.
The yard and garden is often regarded as real estate’s biggest selling point. When evaluating whether or not to rent a house, studies show renters will look first to the landscape/exterior of the house, then to the kitchen, then the restrooms. And like too many landlords know, once a lawn or garden dies it can take years to get it back to what it was. For effectively maintaining your landscape use the following tips:
- Establish, and communicate, clear rules on who is responsible for what
- Hold individuals strictly accountable for their landscape responsibilities
- Make sure “general maintenance” (lawn cut, weeds pulled, ete… ) is done once a week
- Clearly define when the lawn is supposed to be watered
- Water the lawn at night to avoid losing water to evaporation
- Fertilize the lawn regularly
- Trim, and keep up with trees, bushes, and flowers
- Plant flowers and other plants and allow your tenants to do the same
- Spray weed killer (on weeds) in garden, cement and road
- Ensure walkways and driveways are clear of garbage, dirt and hazards
- Don’t be afraid to hire a lawn care professional if you need one.
The most important thing a Landlord can do is have seasonal inspections. By doing this you can stay informed about the property’s condition, and know what exactly needs to be done and what can be done. Whether or not you’re wanting to do the maintenance yourself or you want an individual to come do it for you, the Utah Apartment Association is happy to help provide resources and advice to you. Please give us a call, or check our directory to find companies that provide your needed supplies or services.