Springtime is here, which means spring cleaning is in order. For landlords, this means sprucing up your rental property and tending to any repairs that you put on hold during the long winter months. Here are a dozen tips to get you well on your way to a tidy attractive property your tenants will be proud to call home.
Replace door mats as needed
Your doormats are likely looking a little worse for wear come springtime. Give them a good vacuum and replace as needed. If you get frequent rain, dry mats out in the sun and then freshen them up by spreading some baking soda as a natural deodorizer.
Dust off fans, fixtures, and vents
Before you turn on those ceiling fans in common areas and have them swirl around months of dust, wipe them down. The same goes for light fixtures and vents.
Spruce up the hallways
If you've got carpet in the hallways, now's a good time to give each floor a deep cleaning. While you're at it, wipe down walls and trim, and consider repainting or touching up spots as needed for a clean look.
Service the HVAC
Whether you have window units or central air, now's the time to ensure they're all in working order well before hot weather rolls in and HVAC appointments are hard to come by. Remember, comfortable tenants are happy tenants, so take advantage of the temperate season to take care of your rental's heating and cooling systems.
Repair decks and patios
Now that the snow is (hopefully) gone, it's time to inspect decks and patios for loose boards, chipped pavers, and other damage. Replace or repair any loose rails or steps and pressure-wash patios. If decks need to be retreated, take advantage of the cool dry weather to do it.
Test the sprinkler system
Green spaces on your property need hydration to keep them looking healthy and lush all season. Don't rely on those April showers alone -- make sure your sprinkler system is ready to go for spring so your grass and foliage don't get parched.
Inspect the foundation
Examine the building's foundation base for cracks or other deterioration. A good rule of thumb is that if you can fit a nickel into a crack in your foundation, it's time to call a professional to check it out.
Pressure-wash the exterior
Let the sun shine on a clean exterior, not one that's been battered by winter's dirt and grime. Aim that hose on sidewalks, decks, and patios, too, for a fresh start to the outdoor season. You can rent a power washer to DIY it, but if you're worried about causing more harm than good to the building's exterior, call in a pro.
Clean out gutters
Snow and rain during winter also tends to pile up the debris in your gutters and downspouts, particularly leaves that might have gotten trapped there from the fall. Don't forget to fix any that have become detached so they can drain excess rainwater away.
Wash windows and screens
Ice, snow, rain, and other remnants of winter weather have clouded over windows and screens. Hire a service to clean the windows for a building, but if you've got smaller homes in your portfolio and are feeling energetic, a bucket of soapy water and a squeegee are all it takes.
Patch up the roof
Don't wait for a leak to happen before you inspect your roof for damage. Spring is a good time to fix or replace shingles or flashing. If it's looking like a bigger project, book an appointment soon so that you can get it done before the cold weather returns; spring and summer are typically the busiest times for roofers.
Refresh batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors
When it's time to turn the clocks ahead in the spring, it's also time to swap out batteries in those smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Be sure to test that they are working properly, too -- be sure to post a notice in your building that you'll be testing the alarms on a certain date so that tenants know not to evacuate. Do the same thing again when the clocks turn back in the fall and you'll have peace of mind that your smoke and CO2 alert system is at the ready.
The bottom line
A landlord's to-do list is never done, but spring weather has a way of making those tasks a bit more pleasant. Prioritize your tasks accordingly and take advantage of the longer days, and you'll get them done in no time.