As the weather begins to cool down, there are several potential maintenance issues to start looking out for.
Maintaining a safe and comfortable building for your residents is part of your responsibilities as a landlord. Regular inspections on your buildings and the suites is the best way to protect your investment and get ahead of any maintenance issues before they become major concerns. You should also encourage your tenants to submit maintenance requests, and promptly follow through with all inquiries.
Here's some common problems to look out for this fall.
As the weather cools down, outdoor critters and bugs seek shelter from the elements. If your tenants alert you to a possible infestation, inspect the unit right away. Everything from fruit flies to rodents or bed bugs should be dealt with immediately to stop them from spreading to neighbouring units. Educate your tenants on how to prevent bed bugs, and secure your building by rodent-proofing your property.
Heat or hot water issues
Whether it's one tenant or several, lack of heat complaints should be investigated right away. Generally, if you have more than one tenant complaining about the heat in their unit, there's a problem with the furnace. Inspect the unit promptly and hire a professional to fix it. If you have recently serviced the furnace, but still get complaints, there could be leaky ductwork, a draft in the unit, or an ineffective thermostat.
If your tenants are complaining about the hot water, have a professional inspect the water heater. Lack of hot water can be caused by problems with the water lines, water pressure, or a malfunction at the source. If only one tenant is complaining about the lack of hot water, check the taps in the unit. Mixing valves wear down over time and can cause inconsistent water temperatures.
With the colder weather and less daylight during the winter, more stress is put on your electrical system. When a power outage is restricted to your property only, check the circuit breaker and contact a qualified electrician to inspect your electrical system. If power is only out for one tenant, inspect the unit for faulty light fixtures and outlets to find the source of the problem.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a property manager. Their expert knowledge and established relationships with tradespeople will save you money and eliminate your stress.